Professor Lynn Prince Cooke, Professor of Social Policy in our Department of Social & Policy Sciences, has been conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of the significant contributions and impact her work has had.
The prestigious accolade, made by the Academy following an independent peer-review process, means Professor Cooke now joins a distinguished list of individuals from the academic, public and private sectors and across the full breadth of the social sciences. Through their leadership, scholarship, applied research, policymaking and practice, Fellows of the Academy have helped to deepen the understanding of, and address, some of the toughest challenges facing society and the world.
Professor Cooke’s own research primarily uses large-scale national datasets to explore how labour markets and social transfers structure economic inequalities among women and men, as well as between them. Through successive projects she has focused on life course research, such as the impact of household divisions of labour on divorce risk. She is currently pursuing these interests under a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for the NEWFAMSTRAT project.
NEWFAMSTRAT is an innovative research initiative, providing the most comprehensive picture to date of how gender differences in employment, earnings and domestic divisions predicted by family status are constructed and understood at the individual, couple and employer levels across Finland, Germany and the UK. Its goal is to build a richer understanding of how and why, despite extraordinary economic gains and progress over the past 50 years, women still remain responsible for most unpaid care work and disadvantaged in the labour market.
Commenting on the conferment of her Academy Fellowship, she said: “I'm thrilled that the Academy of Social Sciences has conferred a Fellowship for my research on gender economic inequalities, especially in light of two things.
“First, becoming an academic had been a life-long dream that, due to family commitments, I did not achieve until the age of 50. To have my contributions in this condensed timeframe recognised is a deep honour. Second, my research, such as the NEWFAMSTRAT project funded by the ERC, is quite blue sky.
"My interests are in developing advanced empirical methods to better understand how inequalities are configured between and among women and men. In the future I will use these insights to suggest 'better' policies that have a direct impact on individual lives. The Academy of Social Sciences provides an excellent platform for translating these insights into findings of interest to policy makers and the general public."
Professor Joe Devine, Head of the Department of Social & Policy Sciences added: "Lynn fully deserves this award and everyone in the Department is both thrilled and proud of her. She is an outstanding academic pushing the boundaries of social science research and imagining new policy opportunities that will promote greater social justice. Lynn is a genuine research leader but also a hungry learner, always open to new ideas and challenges, always prepared to step out of her comfort zone. While building a very successful career, she has also worked tirelessly to support colleagues. Her work and generosity have inspired a new generation of strong social science researchers."
The Academy comprises over 1400 Fellows, 46 Member Learned Societies and a number of affiliates. Collectively, this extensive community of over 90,000 social scientists has helped establish the UK’s position as a global leader in the social sciences. Professor Cooke is the sixth member of the Department of Social & Policy Sciences to be awarded the honour.
Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) noted: “Through her work, Professor Cooke demonstrates the impact social sciences research can have in affecting change on complex, long-standing challenges such as gender income inequality. The fact that she now joins others from the Department who have also been conferred as Academy Fellows reflects both the strength and significance of her own work but also that of the wider Department of Social & Policy Sciences too. My sincere congratulations.”