Alice Sullivan

Professor of sociology

Prof Alice Sullivan

Alice Sullivan is professor of sociology at University College London (UCL) and head of research at the UCL Social Research Institute. Her research focuses on social and educational inequalities in the life course. She was the director of the 1970 British Cohort Study at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies from 2010 to 2020. In 2020, she took up the role of head of research at the UCL Social Research Institute.

She is interested in data collection and questionnaire design, and has written about the conflicts between scholarly and scientific values and gender-identity politics. She is a convenor of UCL Women’s Liberation.

Her publications include: Sullivan, A. (2021) ‘Sex and the Office for National Statistics: A Case Study in Policy Capture’, Political Quarterly; Suissa, J. and Sullivan, A. (2021) ‘The Gender Wars, Academic Freedom and Education’, Journal of Philosophy of Education. 55(1) 55-82 and Sullivan, A. (2020) ‘Sex and the Census: Why surveys should not conflate sex and gender identity’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 23(5), 517-524.

“Sex matters in data collection, as we need to be able to disaggregate data according to sex in order to understand differences in the lives of women and men, girls and boys. I have been involved in the campaign to maintain data collection on sex, notably in the England and Wales census. I have also written about the threat to academic freedom which arises from attempts to make sex unspeakable.”