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SAGE launches landmark study into evidence-based analysis of social science impacts

February 6, 2014

Results of three year study by LSE Public Policy Group, funded by HEFCE, calls for better funding and closer integration of the social sciences

Los Angeles, CA - SAGE is delighted to announce the publication of a landmark study into evidence-based analysis of social science impacts, The Impact of the Social Sciences: How academics and their research make a difference. The three year project conducted by the LSE Public Policy Group and sponsored by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE), provides an invaluable insight into how social sciences affect us all, how it supports our economy, our society and other areas of our lives.

Mapping the size and scale of social sciences in the UK and their influence across all sectors of British society for the first time, authors Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Dr Simon Bastow and Research Fellow Jane Tinkler, have analyzed the significant impact of social science research on government, business, the non-profit sectors and the public. With their research indicating that social sciences are worth an estimated £24billion to the UK economy, the research puts forward a strong case for additional funding for the sector, calling for closer integration of the social sciences themselves and better co-operation with STEM (sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.

“Between 30-40 per cent of all UK University research takes place in the social sciences domain, providing answers to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Yet the effectiveness of social scientists has often been decried” commented Professor Patrick Dunleavy.  “The social sciences need to work much closer together with the STEM disciplines and medical sciences to tackle looming scientific and policy changes facing the world, joining forces to make better use of the “impact” agenda and demonstrate how much they can contribute to the economy and society.”

Speaking of the publication, SAGE’S Global Publishing Director Ziyad Marar further remarked:

“We are delighted to be publishing this book, feeling strongly that it provides an invaluable insight into how social science affects us all. Since SAGE’s inception nearly 50 years ago, our commitment to support the social sciences has been a core principle of our organization. Accordingly we feel a responsibility to get directly involved, and have committed resources and effort to advocacy and engagement to help champion the value of social science research. We see this text as a key vehicle in joining up the global conversation and increasing the societal value and impact of both knowledge and research within the social science fields. As part of our wider outreach and commitment to the social sciences, this text will be used to engage policy makers, university administrators and other key voices across the globe in order to ensure the concept of ‘impact’ is richly rather than narrowly construed.”

To support the launch of the text, a panel debate with elite experts from government, civil society, business and the media, including a keynote address from Lord Stern, President of the BA, was held to debate how academic research is translated and used within their disciplines. A recording of this debate can be viewed here.

A sample of the research, “Visualizing the Data”, can be accessed here.


LSE Public Policy Group (PPG) was founded in 1998. Over the last ten years, the size and profile of the Group has grown considerably and PPG now includes members from many departments in the School and from other major universities. The Group conducts a mix of commercial and pro bono activities, including consulting, research, seminar and conference organizing, and publications. The Group works closely with Enterprise LSE, who undertake project management and contract negotiations for all PPG consultancy activities, and with the LSE Research Grants and Contracts Office, who handle grant-funded research.

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