A warm and lively annual conference

By Eileen Green, BSA Chair

Manchester 2017 will be remembered as a warm and vibrant conference in a lively city which defied its reputation for rain. One delegate went so far as to tell me that it was a 'happy conference'. It was certainly a big one, on record as the second largest BSA conference ever, with 840+ delegates. The BSA must be doing some things right! The lively mix of plenary speakers addressed issues ranging from: the legacy of Stuart Hall, recovering collective spirit in an era of austerity characterised by fake news about benefits claimants in the media, and the link between personal life, global challenges around sustainability and climate change. Other highlights included:

Lynn Jamieson and Sara Arber photo

The BSA's Distinguished Service to Sociology Award presented to Professor Sara Arber.


The Philip Abrams Memorial Prize awarded to Dr Amy Chandler and Dr Paul Campbell.

Ethnography prize winner photo

The BBC/BSA Ethnography Prize awarded to Hilary Pilkington.

Annual Members Meeting

Trustees photo

Trustees repeated last year's successful format at the AMM with poster presentations showing:

  • The structure of the BSA
  • The ways in which we have improved engagement with members
  • News about BSA Publications

New in 2017

  • A BSA Ethics guide update
  • Early Career Forum Mentoring Cafes and
  • A new BSA Diversity Sub-Committee

The trustees have been busy on your behalf throughout the year, working on strategies to implement the three strategic goals set in place by the Governance Review. Under Promote Sociology we have come up with a new Public Engagement Plan which will be developed over the next two years, assisted by a new BSA member of staff. Also under public engagement, as I write this we are in the process of setting up interviews for an Early Career Fellowship , a new collaborative venture with the British Library 'A Sociologist in the Archives' which will be launched later in the year.

Over the past year key BSA members have been involved in compiling responses to the HEFCE consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework. In collaboration with Heads and Professors of Sociology, we have engaged with the HEFCE agenda, providing critical feedback on proposals for REF 2021.

More personally, I am proud to have chaired the Association through a period of considerable achievement during a period of economic austerity. Membership is up, BSA journals have gone from strength to strength, conference numbers have expanded and more members are contributing to BSA events. In short, thanks to the energy and commitment of BSA Trustees and staff, the Association is thriving.

Professor Eileen Green, Chair