Leading Herts statistician receives prestigious Academy of Social Sciences fellowship

 1 January 2023 2 October 2023
2 October 2023

A leading academic from the University of Hertfordshire, whose work includes research into ranking MPs, labour disputes and the gig economy, has received a prestigious fellowship for his substantial contributions to social science.

Neil Spencer, Professor of Applied Statistics at the University of Hertfordshire, was elected this autumn as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the national organisation representing the discipline.

Professor Spencer’s work in statistics has placed him among 47 top scientists to have received the competitive recognition this year, highlighting the importance of social sciences in tackling some of the most the pressing issues facing our society today.

Neil Spencer, Professor of Applied Statistics at the University of Hertfordshire, said:

“I am honoured to have been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. As a statistician I am lucky to have the opportunity to work across many areas of the social sciences during my career to date. These have included Victorian censuses, compassion in education, ranking MPs, quality of life, labour disputes and platform work, alongside methodological work. Through these activities I have seen the impact that research in the social sciences has in our world and the vital role it plays in helping us understand and improve how our society operates.”

Professor Spencer’s achievement is yet another example of research excellence at Herts, which is ranked the highest of any post-1992 university for research impact and in the top quartile of all universities in the UK. According to the recently published Powering Impact Report, research from the University informs how policymakers and sector leaders respond to the key socioeconomic challenges of our time.

The Academy of Social Science’s Fellowship comprises over 1,500 leading academics, whose expertise covers the breadth of the social sciences. Their practice and research addresses some of the major challenges facing communities, society, places and economies. All Academy Fellows are selected through an independent peer review which recognises their excellence and impact, including their wider contributions to social sciences for public benefit.

President of the Academy, Will Hutton, said:

“It’s a pleasure to welcome these 47 leading social scientists to the Academy’s Fellowship. Throughout their careers so far, they have furthered our understanding, and made practical contributions, in a range of areas including improving the lives of children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, post-conflict educational reforms and the role of education in peacebuilding and working with planning authorities to value ecosystem services. I look forward to meeting and working with them to further promote the importance of the social sciences.”

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