COSSA Colloquium on Social and Behavioral Science and Public Policy: New Perspectives
COSSA Colloquium on Social and Behavioral Science and Public Policy: New Perspectives
 
COSSA Colloquium on Social and Behavioral Science and Public Policy: New Perspectives
Print
December 2012

Using social and behavioral science to influence public policy for societal good was the primary theme of the 2012 annual meeting colloquium of the Consortium of Social Science Associations. Held in Washington, D.C., on November 29–30, the event attracted representatives from over 100 universities and research policy organizations from around the country. 

New perspectives were offered about research policy in two areas: (a) interdisciplinary research models and (b) increasing the influence of social science research in formulating social policy and policy about social science research itself.

Myron Gutmann, assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), provided graphical representations of the interdisciplinary research being funded across NSF and within SBE, demonstrating the variation by disciplines and the increased incidence of interdisciplinary research over time to address complex problems. Gutmann is a former President of COSSA.

COSSA President Kenneth Prewitt focused on a new report from the National Academies of Science, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy. He noted that the report challenges the utility of most research on knowledge utilization because of the contextual nature of the findings, and recommends a new approach: creation of a field of study in which the variable of use of science is central, rather than dissemination of science. Prewitt chaired the National Research Council panel that produced the report, which can be purchased in print or as a free PDF download on the NAS website.

Further information on COSSA and the colloquium are available on the COSSA website. AERA has been a governing member of COSSA since 2002.
 
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