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Message from the President of BSG

By the time you read this, we will know the full extent of the cuts arising from the Comprehensive Spending Review. I am sure we are all only too well aware of the challenges this presents to our members in many sectors: higher education, public services and the voluntary sector to name but three. Despite this, the Executive Committee began to review and re-prioritise its activities when we met recently in York. We have made some alterations to our working/task groups, the full details of which you will be able to see on the new website in due course. Briefly, they are now:

  • Lobbying/Advisory - we welcome Robin Means (President-elect, UWE) to this group which is taking the lead in raising the Society’s profile with other key organisations, policy makers and politicians.
  • Membership and Communications - Wendy Martin (Brunel) has agreed to lead this group which now incorporates the website group and the discussions we have been having around ‘identity’.
  • Fund Raising - Debora Price (King’s) has kindly volunteered to lead this group (previously titled ‘Finance and Sponsorship’).
  • Conference Liaison and One Day Events - led by Simon Evans (UWE) this group oversees our annual conferences and a variety of smaller one-day events.
  • Publications - Mary Pat Sullivan (Brunel) is now leading this group which has been joined by Mim Bernard and Robin Means. The group will now help oversee the ILC-UK ‘think pieces’ (co-ordinated by Sheila Peace of the OU) and provide a link with the journal Ageing and Society.
  • International Relations - Alisoun Milne (Kent) is our new lead for this group and, amongst other things, will be working with those colleagues who represent the Society in international forums.
  • Early Researchers in Ageing (BSG-ERA) - Christian Beech (Swansea) and colleagues are now joined by Sharon Middling (Chair-elect, Keele).

We have also rearranged our meeting agendas so that all groups report back on both strategic directions and the activities they are undertaking towards achieving the objectives laid out in our five-year plan. This plan still forms the basis of our work and, over the next few months, we will firm up which activities we shall be prioritising for the next two years.

REF2014 nominations have now gone in from our Society and, as reported elsewhere, we approached 25 members, 14 of whom agreed to go forward. Nominees cover a number of different panels including the main panel C: Social Sciences; as well as sub-panels such as Social Work and Social Policy; and Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care.

Once again, this is the time of year for nominations for Academicians of the Academy of Social Sciences. Our Administrator, Rachel Hazelwood, has already sent out guidelines and the nomination form to all members. I would strongly encourage colleagues to put forward those who, in the Academy’s words, have made ‘a significant contribution to Social Science and its promotion’.

Finally, I was delighted to be asked to speak in my capacity as your new President, at two important and recent events. On Saturday October 2nd, I took part in a symposium following a matinee performance of ‘On Ageing’ at the Young Vic in London (see: http://www.feveredsleep.co.uk/current-projects/on-ageing-symposium/); and on November 2nd the Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies (CABS) at the Open University celebrated its 15th anniversary. Both events were important opportunities to talk with people about the exciting research work being undertaken by members of the BSG.

Early though it may be, I send everyone best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Mim Bernard
December 2010

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