Sir Roger Jowell

Professor Sir Roger Jowell. Photo: Oxford Brookes UniversityWe are very sad to learn that Professor Sir Roger Jowell, social statistician and co-founder of the European Social Survey, passed away on 25 December aged 69.

A distinguished social scientist, Sir Roger co-founded Social and Community Planning Research in 1969 – later to become Britain’s biggest social research institute, NatCen Social Research. In 1983 he initiated and directed the centre’s annual British Social Attitudes Surveys time series - the first systematic attempt to measure the British people’s attitudes and values, and an invaluable source of information for policymakers.

Sir Roger co-directed the ESRC-funded British Election Studies programme from 1983 to 2000 with Anthony Heath and John Curtice. He sat on a number of ESRC committees and was a longstanding member of the Research Resources Board, where he contributed to the strategic development of a national data infrastructure for social and economic research.

In 2001 he co-founded and directed the European Social Survey - a 34-nation comparative study of changing social values throughout Europe, which was awarded the prestigious European Descartes Prize in 2005 for excellence in collaborative scientific research.

Sir Roger Jowell was appointed CBE in 2001 and knighted in 2008 for services to social science.