From education to employment

Bristol academic awarded prestigious Fellowship

Mr Lansley is currently a Visiting Fellow in the School of Policy Studies at the University of Bristol. He is a social scientist, broadcaster and journalist and has published widely on poverty, wealth and inequality. His new book, The Richer, the Poorer, How Britain enriched the few and failed the poor, a 200-year History, is to be published by Bristol University Press at the end of November.

His early research work at the National Institute of Economic and Social research in 1971-74 revealed the full potential of the Family Expenditure Survey as a tool in poverty research, and developed innovative ways of measuring poverty, inequality and their trends. In 1983, working with Joanna Mack, the Breadline Britain survey, for a 4-part ITV series, developed a new ‘consensual’ methodology for defining and measuring poverty. This has been used as one of the four targets in the UK’s 2010 Child Poverty Act, has been adopted by the European Commission and UNICEF and been applied in dozens of countries. The survey has been repeated four times – the last one directed by Professor Dave Gordon, head of the Bristol Poverty Institute. The findings of these studies over 40 years were published in with Breadline Britain, The Rise of Mass Poverty with Joanna Mack in 2015.

His most recent research has contributed rigour to the debate on the feasibility of a Universal Basic Income for tackling poverty and insecurity, and of a ‘Citizen’s Wealth Fund’ for tackling wealth inequality. For this work, he has received funding from the Joseph Rowntree and Friends Provident Foundations. This research has been published in several places including A Basic Income For All, From Desirability to Feasibility and in It’s Basic Income, The Global Debate.

He has held academic posts at several universities and think tanks, while his work has been widely cited in academia, and in newspaper columns and editorials. His period working in TV and radio from 1983 to 2010 produced over 200 programmes, many on social issues including housing, education and health as well as poverty. He also holds six TV and radio awards. He is a frequent lecturer and commentator to a wide range of audiences and is a Council member of the Progressive Economy Forum, and a research associate at the Compass think tank.

The Academy’s Fellowship is made up of distinguished individuals from academic, public, private and third sectors, across the full breadth 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 our society and the world.

Mr Lansley said:

“It is a great honour to be made a fellow of the Academy and for the opportunity it gives to join other social scientists in the vital task of ensuring that much needed social research gains greater influence over the policy agenda.”

Will Hutton, President of the Academy of Social Sciences, added:

“As the Academy extends its outward-facing focus, engagement with all sectors of the social science community is vitally important and I very much hope to draw on the deep knowledge and expertise of our new Fellows.”

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