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Bristol academics conferred as Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences

Professors Helen Lambert and Leon Tikly

Press release issued: 1 September 2022

Two University of Bristol academics have been conferred as Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Professor Leon Tikly, from the School of Education and Professor Helen Lambert from Bristol Medical School [Population Health Sciences], are among 40 outstanding social scientists who have been conferred to the Academy this autumn.

Professor Tikly is UNESCO Chair in Inclusive, good quality education for all at the University of Bristol. He currently directs a UKRI-funded network plus in the area of Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures with partners in India, Rwanda, Somalia/ Somaliland and South Africa.

His scholarship over many years has focused on initiatives to improve the quality of education for disadvantaged learners, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and on the attainment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic learners in the UK.

His work is informed theoretically by critical realism, postcolonial and decolonial perspectives and is underpinned by a commitment to social, environmental and epistemic justice.

Professor Tikly said: “I am deeply honoured to be admitted as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. I hope to use my new-found status to continue to advocate for expanding the educational opportunities available to the most disadvantaged and for the transformation of education and training systems in the UK, in Africa and across the globe in support of more just and sustainable futures for all.”

Professor Lambert’s work uses ethnographic, interdisciplinary, and historical approaches to transform understanding of key public health issues including antimicrobial resistance (AMR), infectious diseases including COVID-19 and HIV, gender violence, and suicide prevention. Her longstanding research in India on medical plurality and treatment-seeking focuses on subaltern therapeutic traditions and inequalities in access to care.

As UK ESRC Research Champion for AMR (2015-17), she led initiatives to highlight the role of the social sciences in tackling AMR and build cross-disciplinary research capacity. She currently leads STAR-China, a Newton Fund-supported UK-China AMR Partnerships Hub on Strategies to reduce the burden of antibiotic resistance in China, and the social science workstream of ResPharm, a UK-India study on the impact of pharmaceutical waste on AMR in the environment and local community.

Professor Lambert is a member of the UK-India Advisory Council to the FCDO and sits on the MRC Applied Global Health Research Board and the Wellcome Trust Early Career Advisory Group. She has served on WHO’s Strategic Technical Advisory Group for AMR and recently completed a two-year secondment to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as Challenge Leader for UKRI’s Global Health portfolio.

She said: “I am delighted and greatly honoured to have been elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences. I hope to use this recognition to continue advocating for the design and implementation of global public health initiatives to be better informed by social science knowledge and understanding, so that they may contribute more equitably to healthy and sustainable futures.” 

This autumn’s cohort represent a great balance of practitioners and academics. Many are making exceptional efforts to tackle the urgent issues currently facing the UK in areas such as the economy, communities, the environment, places, and beyond. They are drawn from varied backgrounds, disciplines and institutions from across Britain and overseas.

The Academy’s Fellowship is made up of distinguished individuals from academic, public, private and third sectors, across the full spectrum of the social sciences. Through leadership, scholarship, applied research, policymaking, and practice, they have helped to deepen the understanding of, and address, some of the toughest challenges facing society and the world.

All Academy Fellows are conferred following independent and robust peer review by the Academy’s Nominations Committee. They are selected on the basis of the substantial contributions they have made to policy and practice, and for going above and beyond the normal requirements of their roles.

Will Hutton FAcSS, President, Academy of Social Sciences said: “The Academy of Social Sciences is delighted to welcome an excellent range of highly distinguished social scientists to join our ranks - as the work of social science become ever more important. We look forward to engaging with them in our work.”

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