UCL News


Five UCL academics elected to the British Academy

24 July 2020

Five UCL academics have been made Fellows of the British Academy for humanities and social sciences, in recognition of their outstanding work.

UCL academics / new fellows of the British Academy

Professor Meg Russell (UCL Political Science), Professor Essi Viding (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences), Professor Elaine Unterhalter (UCL Institute of Education), Professor Christopher Pinney (UCL Anthropology) and Professor Rick Rawlings (UCL Laws) are among 86 distinguished scholars to be elected to the prestigious fellowship this year. 

Fifty-two Fellows were elected from UK universities and 30 Corresponding Fellows were elected from overseas. The Academy also announced four new Honorary Fellows.

They join a community of over 1,500 leading minds that make up the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Meg Russell is Director of the UCL Constitution Unit and a renowned expert on British parliament and the House of Lords. She is the author of four books on the UK legislative process, the House of Lords, comparative bicameralism and organisational change in the UK Labour Party, as well as numerous reports, articles and papers. Professor Russell is currently a Senior Fellow with the UK in a Changing Europe, researching 'Brexit, Parliament and the Constitution'. 

Professor Essi Viding is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at UCL Psychology & Language Sciences, where she co-directs the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit. Her research combines multiple methodologies, including genetically informative study designs and brain imaging, to study different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour. Viding was the 2011 winner of the British Psychological Society's Spearman Medal, and received the Royal Society’s 2017 Rosalind Franklin Award.

Professor Elaine Unterhalter is Co-Director of the Centre for Education and International Development at UCL. She has more than 25 years’ experience working on themes concerned with gender, race and class inequalities and their bearing on education. Her specialist interests are in the capability approach and human development and education in Africa, particularly South Africa. Professor Unterhalter’s current concerns are with education, poverty and global social justice. Elaine’s books include Measuring the Unmeasurable in Education published in 2018 and Gender, Schooling and Global Social Justice won first prize in the Society of Education Studies book awards in 2008.

Professor Christopher Pinney is Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture and is known for his studies on the visual culture of South Asia, specifically India. In 2013, the Government of India bestowed Professor Pinney with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his contributions to the field of literature and education. Professor Pinney has published many books and among his most notable are Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs, Photos of the Godsand The Coming of Photography in India.

Professor Rick Rawlings is Professor of Public Law at UCL and one of the UK's leading constitutional and administrative law scholars. Interweaving theory, doctrine and empirical studies, his research closely connects with government and politics. His current work focuses on law and justice in Wales, the UK territorial constitution, and administrative law and judicial review. Professor Rawlings was recently a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow and member of the independent Commission on Justice in Wales. He is currently a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple, and has served as Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said: “I am extremely proud of the five UCL academics that have been elected to the British Academy, as it recognises their outstanding contributions in their field of research.

“These scholars represent the diversity and breadth of UCL research across the humanities and social sciences, providing new perspectives on long-standing and emerging issues.”



  • From left to right, top to bottom: Professor Meg Russell, Professor Essi Viding, Professor Elaine Unterhalter, Professor Christopher Pinney, Professor Rick Rawling

Media Contact

Natasha Downes

+44 20 3108 3844

n.downes [at] ucl.ac.uk