Established in 1971, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is an elected body of over 700 leading researchers and professionals across the social science disciplines.

We are both a peak body for the social sciences and a distinguished, independent membership organisation, gathering the best and brightest social science minds from universities, research institutes and policy agencies across the country. These are the people whose research shapes government decision-making, whose advice is called on by Australia’s leaders, and whose expertise has long played a key role in shaping our nation.

The breadth of the social sciences means that our elected members, known as ‘Fellows’, are experts in diverse fields from economics, history, education and law, through to psychology, linguistics, anthropology and statistics.

The Academy works with a diverse range of academic, private, public and not-for-profit organisations to develop and advance shared agendas. We have a commitment to reconciliation (including through the election of Australia’s leading indigenous researchers), supporting early and mid-career researchers, and building strong international research linkages in the social sciences.

Above all, we are focused on drawing on our experts and partnering with other organisations to advance and promote the conduct, awareness, translation, and uptake of social science research in ways that improve the lives of people and society, now and in the future.


  • 1942 – Members of the Australian National Research Council propose the establishment of a Social Science Research Council.
  • 1943 – The Australian National Research Council considers the proposal and establishes a Social Science Research Committee.
  • 1952 – Nine years later, the Social Science Research Committee resolves to become an autonomous body. A draft constitution for the new body is accepted by the Australian National Research Council and all members of the Committee are invited to become members of the new Social Science Research Council of Australia.
  • 1953 – The new Council holds its first meeting with a membership of 44.
  • 1957 – The Social Science Research Council becomes an incorporated association.
  • 1970 – The Council adopts a recommendation that it become the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
  • 1971 – The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is incorporated on 7 July 1971. The 96 members of the Council become Fellows of the Academy.
  • 2021 – The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia marks its 50th anniversary.

A detailed history of the Academy and its origins is available in The Poor Relation by former Academy President Professor Stuart Macintyre AO.

The Academy’s records between 1942 and 2012 can be accessed via the National Library of Australia.

To read more about our 50th anniversary in 2021, visit our webpage.


The Academy’s National Office is located in Canberra. A small team of staff works closely with the Academy’s committees and Fellows to manage all aspects of the Academy’s programs.

Key Contacts

Dr Chris Hatherly
0417 209 425

Michelle Bruce
Director– Fellowship, International & Awards
(02) 6103 9940

Andrea Verdich
Policy Director

Bonnie Johnson
Communications Director

Cindy Bin Tahal
Education Director

Zoe Perry
Program Manager
(02) 6249 1788

Anna Dennis
Events Manager

Isabel Ceron
Senior Policy Analyst

Chez Robinson
Communications and Education Officer

Ellen Scott
Events and Admin Officer