British woman to head Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Lady Archer

Pope Francis has appointed British scholar Lady Margaret Scotford Archer as president of a group dedicated to studying the social sciences, reports the Catholic News Agency.

A Holy See media release has announced that 'the Holy Father has named the most illustrious Professor Lady Margaret Scotford Archer President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.'

The new president was born in Grenoside, UK, and holds a PhD from the University of London. She is currently a professor at l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Previously she taught for many years at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.

In her biographical page on the website of the Pontifical Academy, Lady Archer describes her research in the 'area of philosophy and social science' as concerned with 'how to theorise the interplay between society, culture, structure and its human agents and to explain how their interaction leads to an elaboration of all three elements.'

The social scientist has published numerous articles and books exploring various aspects of sociology, including a study of how 'human reflexivity serves to mediate between our personal concerns and our structural conditioning.'

She is a leading theorist in the critical realist tradition and was a founding member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences when it was established by Pope John Paul II in 1994.

This group of 20-40 scholars meets at least twice a year to study and reflect on various issues within the social, economic, political, and juridical sciences and their relevance to Catholic social teaching. Topics include human rights, religious freedom, and globalisation.

FULL STORY British woman appointed by Pope to head Pontifical Academy (CNA)

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