New Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences

Ella Rhodes reports on success for psychologists.

The developer of the nationwide Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, Professor David Clark (above), has been elected as a fellow to the Academy of Social Sciences. Clark, who was nominated by the British Psychological Society, is joined on the list of new fellows by 83 others including many other psychologists; we spoke to some of them. Clark, who developed IAPT to provide a first-line CBT treatment for mental health problems, particularly anxiety and depression, was elected for his ‘exceptional contributions to clinical and abnormal psychology’. He said: ‘I am honoured and delighted to be elected to the Academy of Social Sciences. The membership uniquely brings together researchers from the whole range of social sciences and making it an important forum for both research and policy development.’

Also put forward as a fellow by the BPS was Professor Peter Fonagy (UCL), Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, who was elected thanks to his years of work looking into human attachment which has impacted clinical practice across the world. He said membership of the academy affirmed one’s identity as a social scientist: ‘Neither medical science nor the arts speak clearly to the precedence of understanding the social framework within which psychology must also thrive if it is to fulfil its full potential as a scientific discipline,’ he added.

Jacqueline Barnes, Director, Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues (Birkbeck, University of London) was also elected. Professor Barnes is particularly known for the behaviour-rating scale she developed which is now used internationally in both research and care settings. She said: ‘It is gratifying to be recognised by my academic peers for the quality of my research, which spans over 30 years, noted for being both rigorous and creative in terms of methodology and of its relevance to policy, and to the lives of parents and children, particularly those experiencing disadvantage. This recognition may prove important in both networking and in my identification as a source of expertise. I look forward to involvement in Academy events.’

Professor Leam Craig (FPP Ltd, University of Birmingham & Birmingham City University), who is both a clinical and forensic psychologist and an academic researcher in forensic psychology, has researched the application of risk instruments and the assessment of clinical risk factors associated with sexual recidivism. His work has led to collaborations with national and international criminal justice agencies including the South African Police Service and the United States Air Force – specifically in the assessment and management of sexual offenders. He told The Psychologist: ‘I am fortunate to share the intellectual companionship of a number of world-renowned practitioners and researchers in the field of violent and sexual offender assessment, treatment and research, both in the UK and overseas. These research collaborations have shaped and guided my thinking and understanding of sexual violence which has been a focus of my research. As well as maintaining an interest in sexual offending behaviour, my research interests also include personality disordered offenders, forensic risk assessment, social climate in forensic settings and psychologists as expert witnesses.’ In 2015, with colleagues from Coventry University, Craig co-authored a Ministry of Justice research report into the use of expert witnesses in family law and in 2016 was appointed as Chair of the British Psychological Society Expert Witness Advisory Group. Along with colleagues from Birmingham City University and University of Birmingham he is currently examining the effects of social climate on aggressive behaviour in forensic settings.

Finally, elected for her work developing innovative qualitative methodologies in the social sciences was Catherine Cassell, Deputy Dean and Professor of Organisational Psychology (Leeds University Business School) who told us: ‘I was really pleased to receive this award in recognition of my leadership and mentorship roles in the British Academy of Management and for supporting doctoral students and early career academics in their methodological development. I look forward to working with other members of the Academy in the future on projects to promote and progress social sciences more generally.’

The BPS also nominated several other members, Dr Hamilton Fairfax, Dr Guy Holmes and Dr Brendan Gough, who were subsequently elected. Other psychologists bestowed the title of Fellow included Paul Ghuman, David Lane, Charles Hulme, and psychology graduate David Halpern.

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