A detailed history of the academy is available in Professor Stuart Macintyre's book: The poor relation: a history of the social sciences in Australia
The poor relation examines the place of the social sciences-from economics and psychology to history, law and philosophy-in the teaching and research conducted by Australian universities.
Stuart Macintyre is the Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne and a Laureate Professor of the University. He is a former president of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a current member of the Advisory Council of the Australian Research Council.
Timeline for the formation of ASSA
- The Australian National Research Council (ANRC) adopts a recommendation that an Australian Social Science Council be established.
- The Provisional Social Science Research Committee of the ANRC is formed, and in the same year becomes an independent although still subsidiary body, the Social Science Research Committee (SSRC).
- A meeting of the SSRC resolves to make itself an entirely autonomous body, as had been anticipated when it was created;
- A draft constitution for the new body is accepted at a meeting of the ANRC, with all members of the Committee invited to become a part of the new Social Science Research Council of Australia (still 'SSRC').
- The new SSRC holds it first meeting. Membership of the council is 44.
- The Council considers seeking the status of an academy by royal charter, but resolves instead to be incorporated under Australian law.
- The SSRC is incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
- The SSRC adopts a recommendation that it become the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), resolving again to do so by incorporation rather than royal charter1.
- The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is incorporated in the ACT, with those Fellows of the SSRC becoming Fellows of ASSA.
1 The question having been precipitated by the decision of the Australian Humanities Research Council to seek a royal charter, which was granted in June 1970 making it the Australian Academy of the Humanities.