Anthony Heath

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Anthony Heath, CBE, FBA

Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Nuffield College

I have been a part of Oxford sociology for the last half-century, coming to Oxford in 1970 as a University Lecturer in Sociology. Over the following fifty years my research has ranged widely over many areas, from rational choice theory to electoral behaviour. Most of my research has been based on sample surveys, and I was a very junior member of the team that conducted the landmark 1972 social mobility survey (led by John Goldthorpe and Chelly Halsey at Nuffield College). Subsequently I directed the British Election Surveys of 1983, 1987, 1992 and 1997 (with Roger Jowell and John Curtice) and more recently the 2010 Ethnic Minority British Election Survey (with Steve Fisher, David Sanders, Maria Sobolewska and Gemma Rosenblatt). I have also broadened my range to include field experiments designed to test whether racial discrimination continues to occur in the British labour market. (It does.)

I have also worked with various national and international bodies such as UNDP (on social cohesion and trust in Bosnia) and OECD (on the integration of ethnic minorities). Currently I am leading a project for the Social Mobility Commission designing a new measurement framework in order to monitor trends in social mobility and to evaluate the effectiveness of government policy. I am also a member of a task force (for the Office For National Statistics) aimed to improve the collection of equalities data across government and to ensure that ‘everyone counts, and is counted, and no one is forgotten’.