A national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners representing more than 90,000 social scientists, the AcSS grants such fellowships, after peer review, to those whose standing and impact have made a major contribution to the field.
The new recipients, announced on 14 October, represent disciplines ranging from law to town planning, education to economics, sociology to psychology. They include experts in accounting, bereavement, bullying, “green” criminology, housing policy, Indian youth and Russian television.
While some are mainly known for their work within higher education, others have made their mark through funding councils, charitable foundations and thinktanks.
In its announcement of the new fellows, the AcSS signalled out Mr Willetts, universities and science minister until July, as “a politician who has encouraged, used and contributed to social science during his career”.
Among others also honoured were: the new University of Leicester vice-chancellor Paul Boyle, an international authority on population and health geography who has led the Economic and Social Research Council for the past four years; and Loraine Gelsthorpe, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Cambridge, a pioneer in the study of women and criminal justice who is serving as the current president of the British Society for Criminology.