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March 5, 2015

The article “Social science ‘critical’ to innovation” (26 February) may have created an erroneous impression.

The British Academy spans the social sciences and humanities and works with a range of partner organisations – universities, learned societies, trusts and foundations – to advance the interests of our many disciplines. We have a particularly close working relationship with the UK’s other national academies: the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences. The question of “not inviting” other bodies to contribute to our recent joint report Building a Stronger Future (to which the article alludes) did not arise because, between them, the four national academies provide a range of independent and strategic advice to the government that represents the full spectrum of science and research. Each of us also receives funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help us to support excellent research.

Robin Jackson
Chief executive and secretary, British Academy

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