The We Society

The We Society

Beyond the politics, beyond our geography are the intangible connections that hold us together - The We Society. The We Society podcast is here to tell you about the thousands of ways the Social Sciences can help us understand and enhance this complicated and fascinating human network. What can we do to fix the NHS? How can we better manage climate change? How do we end the cost of living crisis? Brought to you by the Academy of Social Sciences, this podcast tackles the big questions through a social science lens and brings you some of the best ideas to shape the way we live. Join acclaimed journalist and Academy president Will Hutton, as he invites guests from the world of Social Science to explore the stories behind the news and hear their solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Don't want to miss an episode? Follow the show on your favourite podcast platform and you can email us on and tell us who we should be speaking to or follow us on twitter Brought to you by the Academy of Social Sciences: (


February 1, 2024 2 mins
Join host Will Hutton for Season 5 of the We Society from March to hear more ideas that shape the world we live

In this podcast series, you will hear interviews from social scientists, business leaders and public figures to hear their solutions to society's most pressing issues.   

Tell us who we should be speaking to or what questions we should be asking by emailing 

This pod...
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For the final episode of Season 4, we have one of the chief architects of Britain's Levelling Up agenda: Andy Haldane. A fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences who brings you this podcast, Andy is in the middle of an illustrious career, from chief economist of the Bank of England to chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts. He has put Social Science in motion throughout his whole career.

In this episode, Andy s...
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Professor Lucie Cluver has spent her career improving the lot of children, especially during times of crisis.

Whether that's the AIDS pandemic or the Covid pandemic, Professor Cluver has been at the coalface and in this episode she talks about her time working as a social worker in South Africa all the way through to her work as Professor of Child and Family Social Work at the University of Oxford

From 2010 -...
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Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales, represents an estimated 55,000 farmers and farm workers.  She has changed the course of history as the first woman to become president of the NFU.

Every single person in the UK owes a debt to our farmers - they ensure food is on our tables every single day, but there appears to be a dissonance in our minds of what’s on our supermarket shel...
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Sir Andrew Dilnot is an economist who believes that statistics hold a key role in lessening inequality and making Britain fairer.  

He is now the warden of Nuffield College Oxford - a graduate college specialising in the social sciences. Before Nuffield, he was at the Institute for Fiscal Studies where he was the Director of the UK's leading independent economics research institute. 

A fierce advocate for sta...
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Ann Pettifor is an economist who is perhaps most famous for predicting the Global Financial Crisis two years before it happened.

But Ann is not just a savant, but a change maker. She was a core voice in the successful international campaign to cancel billions in debt accumulated by the Global South to mark the new millennium. And in 2008, she co-authored the report, A Green New Deal,  which laid out plans for better r...
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Neil Adger, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Exeter, examines human movement as a strategy and adaptation to climate change.

From the Somerset levels to Chittagong in Bangladesh, he's traversed the globe to discover why some communities are more climate resilient than others.

But it’s not just physical changes that Neil has been studying.  While climate disasters such as flooding can cause f...
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Economist Daniel Susskind has been studying the nature of work and automation for years, long before ChatGPT entered the chat.

But Daniel's work has never been more important with AI progressing at seemingly breakneck speed. As a research professor in Economics at King's College London and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford University, he is one of the foremost experts on AI and wo...
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Vivienne Stern is the chief executive of Universities UK, a membership organisation that represents 140 UK universities. In this role, she's had to weather a raft of challenges from Brexit to the Covid pandemic. 

Host Will Hutton joins her in this conversation where they delve into just how important universities are for Britain, and how these treasured institutions can be protected for future generations. 

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The We Society returns on Wednesday (4 October) for Season 4. Expect to hear more conversations on ideas that shape the world we live from the world of Social Science. 

Our host, Will Hutton, is speaking to: Vivienne Stern from Universities UK, Daniel Susskind on the future of work in the age of AI, Neil Adger on the ongoing climate crisis, Ann Pettifor on global debt and many other fantastic guests. So join us from W...
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Our host, Will Hutton, chooses some 'must listen' moments from the past three seasons featuring Hillary Clinton, Ai Weiwei, Mariana Mazzuccato, Gary Younge, and Heaven Crawley.

To listen to the full episodes, you can find them all on the We Society page on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We'll be back in the Autumn with a roster of new guests who are changing the world for the better with the help of...
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Novelist Ian McEwan is one of Britain's finest fiction writers whose canon of work has won him the Booker Prize amongst countless other awards and accolades. 

He joins host Will Hutton as they delve into a discussion on freedom, writing, and the importance of Social Science for human progress. 

This is the final episode of season 3 of The We Society Podcast from the Academy of Social Sciences which tackles th...
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Kenan Malik is an Observer columnist, a political thinker, and a seasoned broadcaster whose work mainly focuses on moral ethics and racism. 

He joins host Will Hutton in a wide-ranging discussion on racism following the publication of his latest book, Not So Black and White: A History of Race.

In this conversation, Kenan sets out his case that racism is a modern concept that emerged from a post-Englightenment...
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Professor Nicholas Crafts is an economic historian whose work engages with contemporary Britain.

He joins host Will Hutton in a wide-ranging conversation that starts with the long-term merits of Britain’s Industrial Revolution and ends with how Artificial Intelligence could usher in a new Industrial Revolution. 

In this discussion, Professor Crafts sets out his view that Britain’s Industrial Revolution may ha...
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Professor Louise Mansfield has dedicated her working career to improving the physical and mental health of the nation through her research on sport and exercise.

She tells host Will Hutton how sport engagement is a microcosm of society by reflecting existing inequalities. They delve into issues around gender stereotypes, class, and access to facilities in this fascinating conversation along with an exploration of the ...
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Polly Neate is the CEO of Shelter, a charity which champions housing and tenant rights in Britain. 

She joins Will Hutton in a conversation that touches on the critical need for more social housing, the spiralling number of rough sleepers, the need for a radical rethink in landownership practices, and how we perceive housing in the UK. 

She brings us solutions that could see an end to 120,000 Children waking ...
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Professor Heaven Crawley has spent the past few decades leading the research on migration at some of the world’s top universities. 

She joins host Will Hutton to dispel the myths about the 3.5% of the world’s population who are on the move. While migration might seem like a problem that only concerns the Global North, it certainly isn’t. Most people escaping famine, inequality or war settle in neighbouring countries....
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Join host Will Hutton for Season 3 of the We Society which launches in April to hear more ideas that shape the world we live

From how we can tackle homelessness to rebooting our stagnating economy, the podcast will encourage you to think critically and collectively, as part of The We Society.  In this podcast series, you will hear interviews from the top social scientists in our country. 

Tell us who we sho...
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Ai Weiwei is a father, an artist, and a dissident who refuses to be silenced. He has exhibited worldwide and has gained a reputation for creating fearless artworks with a humanitarian spirit.

He joins journalist Will Hutton for the final episode of Season 2 of the We Society where they discuss the possible threats to Taiwan from China, his years of exile growing up in North West China with his poet father, and the imp...
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Becky Francis has dedicated her life to improving education. She is the chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, an independent charity that supports schools, nurseries, and colleges to improve teaching and learning. Before that, she was Director of the UCL Institute of Education at University College London. If anyone knows how the school system in the UK is doing, it’s Becky Francis and she joins Will Hutton in...
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