10 March 2016 11:41

The Academy of Social Sciences has conferred the award of Fellow on a leading expert in religion and values.

Professor Linda Woodhead, from the University’s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, and co-director of the new Institute for Social Futures, is one of 42 new Fellows.

The leading social scientists are drawn from across the spectrum of academia, practitioners, and policymakers and have been recognised for the excellence and impact of their work in the social sciences.

This includes thought leadership based on innovative research, the application of evidence for policy, the adoption of social science insights in practice and sustained advocacy that has improved the public understanding of issues where social science can make a contribution in higher education, government, and everyday life.

Professor Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion, is a world-leading specialist in the sociology of religion, in particular looking at new forms of spirituality and the return of religion to the public sphere.

She is the co-founder of the Westminster Faith Debates and is currently working on improving the way religion and belief is handled in schools. Her new book “That Was the Church, That Was”: How the Church of England lost the English People” is due out in June.

“It was a lovely surprise to be given a fellowship and it’s a boost for me and the Institute for Social Futures which we’re getting off the ground this year in Lancaster,” said Professor Woodhead.

The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Its mission is to promote social science in the United Kingdom for the public benefit. The Academy is composed of around 1000 individual Fellows, 41 Learned Societies, and a number of affiliate members, together representing nearly 90,000 social scientists.