Professor Charlie Jeffery, Fellow of the Centre on Constitutional Change and Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours. The award recognised Professor Jeffery’s work in promoting social science as a tool to inform public decision making.
The award singled out Charlie’s efforts to ensure that voters and politicians have access to the best available evidence when making decisions about the constitutional change within the United Kingdom. As Director of the Devolution and Constitutional Change and the Future of the UK and Scotland programmes, he placed informing public debate at the heart of the research agenda. In addition, Professor Jeffery advised the Commission on Scottish Devolution (2008-9), the Scotland Bill Committee of the Scottish Parliament (2011- 12) and served as a member of the McKay Commission on the West Lothian Question (2012-14).
Charlie has always made a point of supporting and encouraging colleagues in considering the impact their work can have in the world beyond academia. While expressing his personal pride in this recognition of his work, he was keen to stress the continuing importance of this approach; “I have always seen academic work as a collective effort and I've been fortunate to work with many colleagues who have helped to give our work as social scientists impact beyond higher education. This has especially been the case in the initiatives I was fortunate to lead on. During the Scottish referendum debate we managed to work closely with both sides in the debate, but also stand above the fray and offer impartial analysis that was widely used by the general public.”