Pioneering research: Penarth professor elected Fellow of the British Academy
A UNIVERSITY professor from Penarth has achieved one of the academic world's leading honours.
Cardiff University Professor Harry Collins was elected a Fellow of the British Academy for his pioneering role in establishing the sociology of science.
His work analyses the nature of science and knowledge and the ways scientists seek new breakthoughs. Fellows of the British Academy are highly distinguished academics, recognised for outstanding research in the social sciences and humanities.
Professor Collins, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise and Science at Cardiff, has worked with many international scientists, particularly physicists, to gain a better understanding of how they work.
His 16 books include studies of the nature of Artifical Intelligence and the scientific quest for gravitational waves - extremely weak cosmic events which are predicted by Einstein's theory. He is also planning a new book on the relationship between science and science policy.
Keenly interested in sport, Professor Collins has also published an analysis of Hawkeye, the line and lbw judge used in tennis and cricket. He questions how the technology can be as accurate as claimed - an issue cricket has now taken into consideration.
His most recent work includes the Imitation Game, a way of exploring how far minority groups are integrated into societies.
Professor Collins said: "I'm very pleased to be elected. The British Academy only appoints 38 new Fellows a year out of thousands of academic researchers and writers.
"I'm also pleased to see the sociology of science recognised in this way. I first became involved in studying scientists in 1971 and the work I did early on helped to get the subject off the ground."
The Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Dr David Grant, said: "This is a well-deserved award for Professor Collins who has built up a fascinating body of work over his career.
"His work asks some profound questions about the very nature of scientific knowledge and the ways in which scientists make their discoveries."
Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy said: "The new Fellows, who come from 23 institutions across the UK, have outstanding expertise across the board.
"Their presence in the Academy will help it to sustain its support for research across the humanities and social sciences, and to inspire public interest in these disciplines."