In September 2014, Nuffield College established a new interdisciplinary research programme, the Centre for Social Investigation (CSI). In keeping with the College’s Charter which emphasizes “the study by co-operation between academic and non-academic persons of social (including economic and political) problems”, the Centre aims to address contemporary social issues of public interest and to engage with policy-makers and the public more generally, carrying out authoritative, non-partisan research on central social issues which draws upon expertise in economics, politics and sociology and related disciplines such as social policy. One initial focus of the Centre will be a report measuring social progress in Britain. This will document recent trends over time on key outcomes such as healthy life expectancy, income and poverty, and subjective well-being, alongside measures of adverse side-effects such as pollution, congestion, crime and unemployment, together with measures of major inputs such as investments in human and social capital. The Centre will address the changing nature of, for example, gender and ethnic inequalities in these trends and will pay particular attention to methodological aspects of measurement, such as the reliability and validity of the estimates.
The centre is directed by Professor Anthony Heath, CBE, FBA