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Professor John Curtice to be knighted

29 December 2017

John Curtice, Senior Research Fellow here at NatCen, is due to knighted in the New Year’s Honours list.

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John Curtice, Senior Research Fellow here at NatCen, has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.

Also Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, John is a leading authority on elections and social attitudes, and has made an important contribution to the study of UK politics. He has successfully combined the scholarly analysis of a distinguished academic with the communication skills of a public educator, and gained an international reputation for providing straightforward explanations of the decisions of voters, the behaviour of parties, and the outcome of elections. He has been involved with NatCen since becoming a contributor to the British Social Attitudes survey in 1986.

President of the British Polling Council, he has led exit polls that accurately forecast the outcome of the last four general elections. Indeed, his surprising forecast of a hung parliament on election day this year caused such a stir that he was profiled in The New Statesman and The Guardian.

Professor Curtice says “Just six months ago the exit poll I lead surprised everyone with a shock prediction that went on to be uncannily accurate.  Now it is my turn to be surprised – and humbled – by the gracious decision to grant me a knighthood. It is not something I ever expected to happen. But it appears that my attempts to analyse public opinion and outline its implications for the country’s political life and public policy are appreciated, and the award is, I hope, an affirmation of NatCen’s belief that ‘research has the power to make life better’. For that, I am duly grateful.”

Guy Goodwin, Chief Executive of The National Centre for Social Research, congratulated Professor Curtice, saying “What can I say about John that I didn’t say just last month when he received The Times Higher Education Life Time Achievement Award! It seems that during these times of political change, people value John’s ability to offer statistical insight into complex issues, and communicate that insight accessibly. Of course here at NatCen, we’ve always understood what a rare skill set this is, and so we couldn’t be happier for John as he gets the recognition he so clearly deserves. His is a voice of measured, scholarly authority in a chaotic media landscape, and long may it continue to be heard.”

ENDS

For more details and interviews, contact Kirsty O’Driscoll 07828 031 850

 

 John Curtice: Career Highlights:

  • 1983-1997: John was a co-director of the British Election study, the principal resource for the survey based academic study of voting behaviour and undertaken in collaboration with NatCen
  • 1986: John makes his first contribution to NatCen’s annual British Social Attitudes survey (BSA). BSA is a survey that asks around 3,000 people what it's like to live in Britain and what they think about how Britain is run
  • 1994: After years as a contributor, John is made an editor of the British Social Attitudes survey
  • 1999: The Scottish Social Attitudes survey is launched, and John is appointed co-director
  • 2004: John is elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 2008: John becomes the second person to be appointed president of the British Polling Council
  • 2013: Launched the “What Scotland Thinks” website, which tracks public opinion towards the issues debated in the Scottish independence referendum
  • 2014: John is elected a Fellow of the British Academy, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to social research
  • 2015: Launched the “What UK Thinks” website, which tracks public opinion and polls in respect of Britain’s EU referendum
  • 2017: The exit poll of the 2017 general election led by John accurately predicts a hung parliament, a result that most thought impossible. The fact that his bold prediction turned out to be correct led The Guardian to dub him “the man who won the election”
  • 2017: In November, a few months after the famous exit poll that proved the world wrong, John received The Times Higher Education Life Time Achievement Award
  • 2017: To round off a great year, John is awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list