Social Sciences in 2017
Tamsine O'Riordan is the Editorial Director of Social Sciences at Palgrave Macmillan.
2017 was an important year for Palgrave Macmillan Social Science. We’ve moved into new product types, adopted market-leading metrix systems for our authors to track the impact of their work, grew significantly more global with editorial teams now in Australia and China as well as the UK and US and became the only scholarly publisher to have a full-time, dedicated, Gender Studies editor.
We’ve published just under 700 books, all of which bring something important to their discipline and meet our high standards of editorial quality. If I have to pick my highlights I would mention the more critical perspectives such as Moral Case for Abortion (released as a paperback this year) and The Pimping of Prostitution, the practice-focused sustainability title Talking Climate and from psychology and education The Sedated Society, Sleeplessness and The Toxic University. Watching our books not only inform research communities but also practice and policy is something we always aim to achieve and this year saw Couple Relationships in the 21st Century re-launched in paperback at the Relate annual conference. Screening Asylum in a Culture of Disbelief presented a wholly unique perspective in our subject stronghold of migration studies and The Restless Compendium has been downloaded over 35,000 times! Our language and linguistics programme brought forward bold new works such as Taking Offence on Social Media and the signing of Regulating Artificial Intelligence in the 21st Century saw the start of our publishing on the social issues surrounding AI.
We added to the social science canon Palgrave Handbooks on feminism and sport, dark tourism, social theory in health, critical social psychology and criminology in Australia and New Zealand. Our product portfolio now includes Major Reference Works, where we have started with the excellent The Palgrave International Handbook of Human Trafficking and The Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education. Open Access titles are growing in frequency and success. Our OA title History Education and Conflict Transformation has had 22,000 downloads since August.
Our most established and respected series' such as Migration, Diaspora and Citizenship, Family and Intimate Life and Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology continue to go from strength-to-strength and we continue to develop insightful new series such as New Femininities in Digital, Physical and Sporting Cultures, Socio-Historical studies of the Social and Human Sciences, Sociology of the Arts and Critical Studies in Risk and Uncertainty.
With our support, our authors’ work was not only reviewed in the most crucial and influential academic journals but also gained coverage in global media outlets that took their ideas yet further, including THE, New Scientist, BBC Breakfast, Women’s Hour and Latitude Festival! We’re extremely proud that our authors regularly win the most prestigious social science prizes for their books and research and 2017 was a particularly successful year including awards from the BSA (three of the six shortlisted plus overall winner), the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Contribution to Adult Education, RC31 Award for Best Book from the ISA Forum of Sociology, Quay Book Award, The Raewyn Connell prize for the best first book by an author in Australian Sociology, AERA Division K Award, American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Award, an AMP Tomorrow Makers grant, the Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship, the Planning Institute of Australia’s Cutting Edge Research Award and finally, Palgrave Macmillan authors Carol Smart and Aisha Gill were awarded CBEs.
Our editors attended over 60 conferences across the globe to find the best research not only in our established disciplinary areas but also in newer or changing and increasingly interdisciplinary (or anti-disciplinary) spaces, such as the sociology of AI and robotics, geographies of health, masculinity, victimology, academic freedom, cross-cultural communication, relational sociology, intercultural learning, sociology of the arts and culture, digital sociology and new directions in race and class.
Finally, 2017 saw a new era for our “Social Science Matters” campaign, with a more active and dynamic author blog space, an expanded online hub, and a survey of 500 social scientists that will inform the campaign for coming months. In what felt like a fitting conclusion to a politically tumultuous year, we co-launched the ESRC’s 15th “Festival of Social Science” with an evening at the Royal Society attended by 100 invited social scientists on “How the social sciences can help to tackle global grand challenges”. Chaired by Laurie Taylor of BBC Radio 4’s “Thinking Allowed” and featuring Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Academy of Social Science Shamit Saggar and our author Professor Felicity Callard the evening was hugely thought-provoking and set us all up ready to publish the most timely social science research in 2018!