British educationalist and economist. She was created a life peer in 1958.
Barbara Wootton studied at Cambridge University, where she later lectured in economics. In 1920 she became a research officer for the Trades Union Congress and Labour Party Joint Research Department and began to acquire experience of the workings of the welfare state. This knowledge led to her appointment to several royal commissions and parliamentary committees, most notably those tackling penal reform. In 1927 Barbara Wootton became director of studies for tutorial classes at the University of London, where from 1948 to 1952 she held the chair of social studies. She also served as justice of the peace in the Metropolitan courts and wrote extensively on issues of social concern. Her books Testament for Social Science (1950), which advocated the use of scientific methods in sociology, and Social Science and Social Pathology (1959) were particularly influential.