There is nothing like an infectious disease to remind us how connected we are, and how the welfare of one affects others.
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President's Message
After months of lockdown in our major cities, it seems that relief in terms of some easing of restrictions is in sight. What is clear is that the success of these restrictions is not just a matter of epidemiological science but also social science. The level of trust in government and the strength of community is critical. There is nothing like an infectious disease to remind us how connected we are, and how the welfare of one affects others.

There are many challenges ahead as Australian society moves from disease suppression to living with it. Our recent online Symposium, a special event to mark our 50th anniversary, discussed the COVID-19 Pandemic and the role of the Social Sciences in addressing the pandemic and the ‘new normal’. Thanks to the Victorian Branch for organising this and for such a stimulating program. If you missed the event you can watch the panel discussions on the Academy website.

A number of other important questions will be pursued at our Annual Symposium, coming up next month (November 22-23), as we ask: What is the social future of Australia? We will look at issues like: How do we create a more just country? What is needed to reduce violence toward women? Can we achieve meaningful reconciliation with First Nations peoples? Can Australia be a world leader in addressing human impact on the environment? What is needed for a future-focused productive and innovative society?

While it is disappointing not to be able to say “I hope to see you there”, I do hope you have the dates in your diaries and that you will connect.

Our international strategy calls for us to contribute to the social sciences in Asia. Academy Fellow James Fox is the current President of the Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC), and the National Office hosts the secretariat with Michelle Bruce as Secretary-General. I am pleased that the Academy is hosting the 2021 AASREC Conference later this month. Thanks to Jim and to Michelle for this important leadership.

Finally, Melbourne has now reached the world record for days in lockdown. My thoughts and good wishes are particularly with our Melbourne and Victorian Fellows.

Professor Jane Hall FASSA FAHMS, President

SOCIAL SCIENCES WEEK 2021 – it’s a wrap!
This is the second year the Academy has played a coordinating role in Social Sciences Week (in its fourth year), and with 73 events across the country, September’s Social Sciences Week 2021 was the biggest year yet. We’re still gathering data but we can already see that SSW2021 had over 137,000 impressions on Twitter and initial data from just 18 of our events indicates more than 4100 registrations. Wow!

SSW2021 was also widely reported in the media, in part thanks to the event’s new partnership with The Conversation. We saw it headline The Conversation’s daily newsletter at the start of the week, while across the week they published a number more stories tied directly to SSW events, on topics ranging from Growing up Muslim to Gender Equality (from Academy Fellow Lyn Craig) and Indigenous Technology.

Social Sciences Week was also embraced by ABC Radio National’s program and podcast Big Ideas. Shortly after the week ended, the show published a recording of a Social Sciences Week event – Implications of the September 11 attacks - 20 years on – and the program will share recordings of four other SSW2021 events over the coming months.

Did you miss #SSW2021? Never fear! Catch up on hours of informative and engaging content on demand! We've collected all available recordings of SSW2021 events and complied them on our SSW2021 On Demand webpage.

Thank you to everyone who hosted or participated in a Social Sciences Week event – we’ll see you 5-11 September 2022! To stay in the loop, subscribe to the SSW newsletter here.
50th Anniversary Symposium: Registrations Open
Registrations are now open for the Academy’s 50th Anniversary Symposium The Social Future of Australia, which will be held online from 22-23 November 2021.

With over 50 participants, six presentation sessions, and three roundtable sessions, the Symposium will provide contemporary and provocative commentary on issues important to society as well as to each of our disciplines. Questions and comments from the online audience will be worked into the program.

The Academy is providing the Symposium registration free of charge. Visit the Symposium webpage to learn more and to register for the event. You can register to attend the full two-day program, single days, or for individual sessions.

We need your help in three ways: First, please register. Second, please share information about the Symposium with your friends and colleagues, nationally and internationally. Third, please help us reach a broad audience. In addition to Fellows, we are aiming to reach policymakers (federal and state), academics, media (traditional and social), and the general public.

So, please tell us the three people, in any of those categories, you think need to be part of the audience. Send their names and email contacts (if available) to us ( and we’ll make contact.

This is your Symposium, and in this 50th Anniversary year we, are aiming to make it different by reaching a wide audience.

Please participate by registering and actively engaging, and please help by spreading the word (please use the hashtag #socialfuture) and by telling us a few people you think need to know more about The Social Future of Australia.
Making Space for the Social Sciences
In August and September, the Academy was proud to host a nine-part webinar series on the role and contribution of the social sciences to the fledgling space economy.

More than 30 panellists covered a diverse range of topics including the lessons of First Nations astronomy, the legal and regulatory considerations of space exploration and settlement, industry opportunities for Australia, defence and security in (and from) orbit, and the living systems (health, agricultural and psychological) that will be required to support long-term space travel and habitation. We were especially pleased to close the series with a panel of Canberra high-school students talking about their thoughts and aspirations for young people in the space sector.

We are grateful to Academy Fellow Roy MacLeod and to Claire MacFarland for convening this wonderful series. You can find all the webinar recordings on the Academy website here.
Nominations for Fellowship in 2022: Closing 30 November
Nominations are open for outstanding social science researchers and practitioners to be considered in the Academy’s 2022 Fellowship elections. Following a review of the Academy’s election process in 2020 and early 2021, the Executive Committee is particularly encouraging nomination of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, those from CALD backgrounds, those whose major contributions to social science have been in policy or public domain, and those from non-Go8 institutions. Nominations must be proposed and seconded by Academy Fellows via the online Fellows’ portal.

Nomination guidelines are available here, or for more information or advice please contact
Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils: 24th Biennial General Conference 26-28 October
If you’re interested in the role of the Social Sciences in Asia, as we navigate the future with and after COVID-19, you’ll want to make time to attend AASSREC’s biennial conference, being held online from 26-28 October.

Academy Fellow Fleur Johns will be presenting, and the Academy holds the Secretariat role for AASSREC. Topics will span international relations in a post-COVID world through to the lessons learned from the Asia-Pacific in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Academy workshops program applications close October 15
Each year the Academy supports up to eight workshops with a maximum of $9,000 each. These multidisciplinary workshops aim to advance research and policy agendas on nationally important issues. For more, including past workshop recipients, head here on our website.

Academy’s international grants – still open
October is also the final month to get your application in for two international grants offered by the Academy.

The Australia-France Collaborative Research Program is a joint award from the Academy and the Embassy of France. It offers seed funding of up to $5000 for projects that help support development of a larger research program. Details here.

The Australia-China Joint Program, jointly run with the Academy and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is also currently open. This research funding program is intended to provide Australian and CASS researchers the opportunity to collaborate in areas of shared interest. Details here.

Applications for both grants close Monday 1 November.

Know someone who has written a book on Asia?
Our friends at the Asian Studies Association of Australia recently launched the inaugural Reid Prize, for a book that has made an exemplary contribution to the understanding of Asia. The $8,000 prize will be awarded biennially to the book that has done the most to promote the understanding of Asia in the last four years. It may include fiction, non-fiction, academic books as well as translations into English of major works originally authored by Asian writers. For full selection criteria and eligibility visit this link. Nominations close November 15 2021.
Jenny Hocking’s Palace Letters wins an award
Well done to Fellow Jenny Hocking, whose latest book, The Palace Letters: the Queen, the governor-general and the plot to dismiss Gough Whitlam (Scribe Publications 2020) was awarded a Commendation in the 2020 Mander Jones Awards (category 2B) by the Australian Society of Archivists. Jenny won the award for the best publication that features or interprets Australian archives. If you haven’t heard the behind the scenes of this book, rewind to this episode of our Seriously Social podcast , where Jenny shares her decade-long journey with the Palace Letters.

The work of OzSage gains wide attention
As the COVID pandemic moves to a new stage in Australia as we prepare to open up, a number of Fellows are supporting evidence-based decision making through their membership of OzSage.

OzSage is a multi-disciplinary network of Australian experts from a broad range of sectors relevant to the well-being of the Australian population during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Incoming Academy President Richard Holden is a member of the OzSage executive, while Fellows Stephen Duckett, Anne Kavanagh, Deb Lupton and Lisa Maher are all members.

Leadership excellence and innovation
Fellows Maggie Walter and Deb Lupton were both recipients of the inaugural DASSH leadership in excellence and innovation awards: Maggie taking out the Indigenous category, and Deb winning the International category. Congratulations!

Inventions to equip us for the future
Meanwhile, a program led by Fellow Matt Sanders, Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, was featured in The Brilliant – a global hub for best practice in science communication. The program, now accessed by more than 4 million children in 30 countries and 22 languages, was heralded as one of 10 Australian inventions equipping us for the future. Fantastic recognition.

Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research
Congratulations to Fellow Felicity Meakins and the team for being awarded the Australian Museum 2021 Eureka Prize for Excellent in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. Bringing together an Indigenous community member, linguist, mathematician and biologist, this team is studying Gurindji, an Indigenous language of northern Australia. Their research is developing new ways to understand the processes of language change and factors that help keep Indigenous languages strong and vibrant. Hear more on our Seriously Social podcast too.
Read, Watch, Listen
Among our Fellows’ many books and publications last month, the second edition of Clem Tisdell’s Resource and Environmental Economics: Modern Issues and Applications hit the shelves, and Oxford University Press published The Political Economy of Automotive Industrialization in East Asia: Fellow John Ravenhill was one of three co-authors.  
In case you missed it (ICYMI): Using the expert opinion of Fellow Amin Saikal, we attempted to explain the Afghanistan Conflict for a broad audience in under four minutes. Audiences responded – we had fantastic views on the video we produced on this complex and tragic situation, over 13K on Facebook and 3000 more on YouTube.

Don't forget that you can watch missed webinars or presentations for Social Sciences Weel 2021 with SSW On-demand.
As the second half of our Seriously Social podcast season hit listeners’ earbuds (total downloads on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other popular pod platforms are approaching 60,000 since we began last year!) we explored two different topics.

Fellow Dennis Altman talked us through The strange persistence of monarchies while Fellow Christine Beasley guided us through the pros and cons of how online dating is changing our offline relationships.

If you have networks or students who would enjoy the podcast, please share it to continue getting the word out there as we continue to share insights from across the social sciences.
From Our Socials
The Academy is increasingly active on social media, and you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. (You can also follow our Seriously Social stories, videos and podcast episodes on social media – find all those links here.)
Wish more people understood the social sciences? Introduce them to Seriously Social.
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
ABN: 59 957 839 703
Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6249 1788

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