British academy

Public Policy at the British Academy

The Public Policy programme of activities includes reports and events, which engage expertise within the humanities and social sciences to shed light on wider public policy issues. This programme was launched in October 2009.

For further details see About Public Policy at the BA.


8 April 2014 Publication: Enlightening the Constitutional Debate

Between January 2013 and March 2014, the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh held a series of 11 focused events to look deeper into the issues affecting Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom following the Referendum on Scottish independence. This book contains a synthesis of the discussions which took place at these events, and also includes an introduction by Professor Iain McLean FBA FRSE, VIce President of Public Policy at the British Academy, and Professor Alan Alexander, General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

8 April 2014 Publication: Sustainable Prosperity: New directions for social science research

The British Academy and ESRC have published a summary of a unique scoping workshop on sustainable prosperity co-hosted by the two organisations on 20 February 2014. This interactive event brought a diverse range of people and perspectives together to discuss novel ideas and fresh approaches to the issue of building an economy that fosters sustainable prosperity.

24 March 2014 Publication: The 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: The case for UK ratification 

The British Academy and the Honor Frost Foundation have published a Briefing Note which identifies five key reasons why the UK should ratify the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. The centenary of the First World War is ample reminder that the remains of many British ships and seafarers rest on the seabed beyond our Territorial Sea. The UK should take advantage of the positive mechanisms set out in the Convention to safeguard the last resting places of so many and ensure that the UK’s interests are fully respected. 

25 February 2014 Report: The shifting face of workplace pensions

The British Academy today publishes a report on the ongoing shift from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution pensions. The shifting face of workplace pensions: The retreat of employers and growth of defined contribution by Professor Anthony Neuberger explores the shift from DB to DC and analyses the many alternative structures and choices in the design of DC pensions around the world. The report also looks at the principal design areas and offers observations towards the current pensions debate in the UK.

16 January 2014 Report: "If you could do one thing..." Nine local actions to reduce health inequalities

The British Academy has published a collection of opinion pieces on health inequalities from leading social scientists. Each of the authors has written an article, drawing on the evidence base for their particular area of expertise, identifying  one policy intervention that they think local authorities could introduce to improve the health of the local population and reduce health inequalities.

6 January 2014 Event: United Kingdom(s)? Scotland's Referendum & Britain's Future 

On Wednesday 5th March 2014 the British Academy is holding a public event to discuss the historical, legal and constitutional issues around the referendum on Scottish independence. The seminar will address the resilience and possible evolution of the constitutional union between Scotland and the other parts of the United Kingdom. It will take account of historical development since the 1707 foundation and will assess contemporary trends, in particular the Scottish independence referendum scheduled for September 2014. The event includes a host of expert speakers and will be hosted by the BBC's Sally Magnusson. 

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