Consultation Feedback and AcadMathSci Executive Committee Response

Many thanks to all who took part in our Spring/Summer Consultation. Thoughtful and considered responses highlighted a range of viewpoints from across the mathematical sciences community and showed widespread backing for the establishment of an Academy for the Mathematical Sciences. We are delighted to share in detail this feedback and the Executive Committee’s response.

The Consultation was an important opportunity to seek input from the community, and the Executive Committee have carefully considered the responses. This input is extremely valuable and timely as we finalise the strategic and operational plans for establishing a new national Academy for the Mathematical Sciences (AcadMathSci), and begin pilot operations during the set-up phase (e.g. the newly formed Policy Unit).

In summary, there was widespread backing for the establishment of an Academy and support for the overall vision and proposals outlined in the consultation document. There was also agreement that this was a timely and important initiative, and the Academy’s collaborative approach and emphasis on building a cohesive and inclusive community was widely liked. Across all themes, there was a strong desire for all members of the community to be allowed the opportunity for meaningful involvement. The responses received conveyed a welcome diversity of opinions on various matters, as described in the Detailed Report and discussed in the Executive Committee’s Response (both available below), providing reassurance that we have received a good cross-section of the views of the mathematical community.

We are delighted to publish the following:

  • An Executive Summary of the Responses to the Consultation, available here.
  • A Detailed Report that presents the responses to the Consultation, anonymised and ordered by theme, available here.
  • AcadMathSci’s Executive Committee’s Response to the Consultation Feedback, available here.
  • A document listing the Questions Asked (and answered) at the Consultation Events is available here. A video recording of these events will be available shortly.

The mathematical sciences community has had a number of opportunities to say what it thinks about an Academy – and the answer has always come out positively. There was an overall positive response to the Academy in this consultation. For example, regarding the vision for the Academy, 68% of respondents answered wholly positively and only 9% responded wholly negatively. The Green Paper published in December 2021 also had a positive response, with widespread support for an Academy in the community consultation. A further, subsequent survey by the London Mathematical Society (LMS) of its members on the Green Paper also showed very positive expectations of the impacts of the Academy. For example, 79% thought the impact of an Academy for Mathematical Sciences would be either very positive (48%) or positive (31%) for Mathematics.

Background

The Academy for the Mathematical Sciences (AcadMathSci) ran a Consultation Period from 26 April to 30 June 2023 to seek feedback from the community on AcadMathSci’s Progress Update and Consultation Document. This included five Consultation Events that collectively attracted approximately 250 participants (and approximately 200 individuals) and an online Consultation Questionnaire. Attendees and respondents included academics, teachers, educators, mathematical scientists in industry and government, knowledge exchange facilitators, and maths communicators amongst others, from across the UK, including a broadly representative proportion of early career mathematical scientists.  

In addition to an initial question on the proposed vision of the Academy and a final question asking for comments, the Consultation Questionnaire included questions on: Policy; Advocacy; Education; Implementation of the Mathematical Sciences; Academies and Societies; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Early Career Mathematical Scientists; Governance; Fellowship; and Finance. There were 73 responses to the Questionnaire.

The Executive Committee appreciate the Detailed Report and Executive Summary of these responses prepared by freelance mathematical sciences knowledge exchange professional Joanna Jordan.

For further information, see here: https://www.acadmathsci.org.uk/about/consultation-2/