Many aspects of the Agency’s work depend on societal factors and the social sciences have an important role to play in helping the Agency consider challenging and complex issues. The Agency has a strong history of using the natural sciences to underpin policy-making and in recent years we have increasingly looked to the social sciences to help us to develop, implement and assess our policies.
Social science research uses scientific enquiry to measure, describe, explain and predict changes in social and economic structures, attitudes, values and behaviours, and the factors that motivate and constrain individuals and groups in society. The Agency uses a range of approaches to gathering social science evidence – from the collection and analysis of statistics, the collation of responses to questionnaires and interviews, to the systematic observation of human behaviour.
To help ensure the Agency develops and delivers a programme of high quality and policy specific social science research its in-house team of researchers in the Social Science Research Unit are members of the Government Social Research service (GSR). This is the professional body for social scientists in government and ensures all research by its members abides by its Code of Practice. The Agency also uses the expertise of the Social Science Research Committee (SSRC). The SSRC help strengthen the Agency’s access to external social science expertise and develop its capacity for social science research.
The Agency has two mailing lists to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with its activities on social science research.
Social science list
Those signed up to this list receive email notification when the Agency publishes social science research evidence (including economics), hosts events, publishes papers from the Social Science Research Committee and other social science research information that may be of interest.
Social science procurement list
Organisations and specialists working in the social science research area can also sign up for the social science procurement list. This provides subscribers with updates about the Agency's social science research procurement activities.
If you want to find out more or join either of these mailing lists please email: SSRU@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk