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Professor Wendy Thomson elected as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

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University of London Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wendy Thomson CBE, has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of her contribution to the social sciences.

The Academy of Social Sciences announced Professor Thomson's election on Monday 4 March. Fellows are elected through a peer-review process for their outstanding contributions to research and for their application of social science to policy, education, society and the economy. 

Professor Wendy Thomson is Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, where she was appointed in 2019 following a distinguished career in government and higher education.    

She is recognised as an international expert in public service governance and reform, and experienced leader and adviser, working closely with governments in Canada, the United Kingdom, Africa and internationally. In her role as Chair and Professor at McGill University, she led the School of Social Work, and pursued research and teaching in comparative social policy, health service reform, child welfare, social welfare and education.   

As Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, Professor Thomson has made London’s civic agenda a key priority and chairs the London Anchor Institutions’ Network and London Research and Policy Partnership that bring together London’s policy makers and university researchers for the benefit of the city.    

She is currently on the Board of London Higher and Deputy Chair of The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).  She is also chair of the Social Market Foundation, a London-based think tank.    

On her election, Professor Wendy Thomson said: “It is a privilege to be recognised in this way by the Academy of Social Sciences. The disciplinary education and research afforded by social science has equipped me well for the many roles I have undertaken in the academy and government in the UK, Canada and internationally. I look forward to continuing to contribute to advancing social justice in London and the world, in my role as Vice-chancellor of the University of London.” 

Commenting on the 2024 Fellowships, Will Hutton, President of the Academy of Social Sciences, said: “At a time when the importance of the social sciences to addressing many pressing issues cannot be overstated, it’s a pleasure to welcome these 41 leading social scientists to the Academy’s Fellowship.  

“Their contributions have furthered our understanding in tackling a wide range of societal challenges including mitigating health and economic inequalities, understanding the causes and effects of hate crime, the development of inclusive practices in education, and the future of cities. We look forward to working with them to further promote the vital role the social sciences play in all areas of our lives.”   

The Academy of Social Sciences comprises over 1,500 Fellows from academic, public, private and third sectors, recognised for their excellence and impact across the full spectrum of the social sciences.