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Why Social Science? - Because Education and Research are Essential for Solving Crime and Justice Problems

Nov 30, 2021

By Heather Pfeifer, PhD, President, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and John Worrall, PhD, Executive Director, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Police agencies across America are in the hot seat. Frontline officers’ every move is scrutinized, and anything that resembles excessive force is…

Why Social Science? - Because It Can Help Us Design Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

Oct 19, 2021

By Corinna Turbes, Policy Director, Data Foundation Much has been written about the promise of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform social systems, but as adoption of these new technologies becomes more widespread, so will their impact on society. This leaves us with new and unique questions…
News Topics: Why Social Science?

Why Social Science? Because Vaccination is a Human—Not Technical—Process

Sep 22, 2021

By Elisa J. Sobo (San Diego State University), Diana Schow (Idaho State University), Elizabeth Cartwright (Idaho State University), and Emily K. Brunson (Texas State University) on behalf of the CommuniVax Coalition  The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced by people—and without insights into…

Why Social Science? - Because It Can Help Employers Compassionately Plan for Returning to the Office

Jul 27, 2021

By Sunita Sah, PhD, KPMG Professor of Management Studies, University of Cambridge  After a year of social distancing, mask wearing and – for millions – working from home, many employers are eager to bring their staff back to the office. But for many, the prospect of readjusting to in-person work is…

Why Social Science? - Because Trans Activism Can Change How We Understand Language

Jul 1, 2021

By Aris Keshav, UC Santa Barbara If you're reading this, you've probably already encountered transgender linguistic activism. When people introduce themselves, for example, it's increasingly common to share pronouns and ask what others use, instead of assuming the best way to refer to them based on…
News Topics: Why Social Science?

Why Social Science? - Because Leaders Need to Know How to Lead with Evidence

Apr 20, 2021

By Ellen Peters, PhD, Director, Center for Science Communication Research, University of Oregon Being bad at math can kill people. Even experts who should understand medical science and help us make good health decisions sometimes fail. In December, a doctor—let’s call him Dr. Smith—advised a…

Why Social Science? Because Engineering Is Intended to Benefit Society

Mar 24, 2021

By John L. Anderson, President, National Academy of Engineering Why introduce the social sciences into engineering education and practice? The intent of engineers is to “do good” – to improve the quality and security of life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out this way, often because of a…
News Topics: Why Social Science?

Why Social Science? - Because We Have a World of Knowledge the World Needs to Know

Feb 24, 2021

By Jeff Martin, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, American Anthropological Association “At its core, Anthropology is about a simple idea—that the world is a better place if people understand one another,” wrote Alec Barker, past president of the American Anthropological Association. “…

Why Social Science? Because Misogyny Is Still Alive and Well and Women Still Don’t “Rule” Equally to Me

Oct 20, 2020

By Lori M. Poloni-Staudinger, PhD (Northern Arizona University), J. Cherie Strachan, PhD (Central Michigan University), Candice D. Ortbals, PhD (Abilene Christian University), and Shannon Jenkins, PhD (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth) Fifty years after Ruth Bader Ginsberg worked to secure…

Why Social Science? Because We’re Living Through an “Infodemic”

Sep 23, 2020

By Stephen C. Rea, PhD (Colorado School of Mines), Colin Bernatzky (University of California Irvine), and Sion Avakian (University of California, Irvine) In February 2020, about a month before COVID-19 became an inescapable reality around the world, the World Health Organization issued a warning…

Why Social Science? Because Collective Behavior Change is the Only Way We Can Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Aug 26, 2020

By Jolanda Jetten (University of Queensland), Stephen D. Reicher (University of St Andrews), S. Alexander Haslam (University of Queensland), and Tegan Cruwys (University of Queensland) The idea that led us to write the book titled Together Apart: The Psychology of COVID-19 was a very simple one.…

Why Social Science? Because It Can Become a Tool to Dismantle White Supremacy

Jul 28, 2020

By Kenneth Prewitt, PhD, President, American Academy of Political and Social Science and Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs, Columbia University The 1966 Coleman Report was our nation’s first big social science project. It gathered and analyzed data from 600,000 students, 60,000 teachers and 4,…

Why Social Science? Because It Can Teach Police Nonviolence and How to Work with Local Residents

Jun 30, 2020

By Kirssa Cline Ryckman, Jennifer Earl, Jessica Maves Braithwaite, University of Arizona Police have a saying, “better to be judged by 12 than carried by six,” acknowledging they might face a jury if they use excessive force, but it’s preferable to being killed in the line of duty. Many police …

Why Social Science? Because We Will Need to Do Better in the Next Crisis

May 22, 2020

By John Haaga, PhD The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a surge of interest in the press and social media in comparisons with other countries. When did the new virus reach other countries, how did they handle it, and how well did they do? I have lost count of the number of times I have read that the…

Why Social Science? Because Institutional Racism Exacerbates our Health and Economic Challenges

Apr 21, 2020

By Allison, Plyer, ScD, Chief Demographer, The Data Center of Southeast Louisiana The COVID-19 epidemic is hitting African Americans particularly hard. As of this writing, 70% of all COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana are black residents in a state where only one-third of the population is black. To date…

Why Social Science? - Because Money Makes The World Go ’Round

Apr 1, 2020

By Bill Maurer, PhD, Dean, School of Social Sciences, University of California, Irvine I often get asked questions like, “What is an anthropologist like you doing studying money? I thought that was the domain of economists!” The archaeological and ethnographic record is full of objects, texts, and…

Why Social Science? - Because Collaborating Across Cultures and Beyond Boundaries Leads to Progress on the World’s Biggest Issues

Dec 18, 2019

By Amanda B. Clinton, Ph.D., Senior Director, Office of International Affairs, American Psychological Associations This post originally appeared on August 26, 2019 as “Time to Change the World” in the in the American Psychological Association’s Global Insights Newsletter and is reproduced here…

Why Social Science? - Because It Makes Informed Democracy Possible

Nov 19, 2019

By Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., CEO Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science Einstein said famously, “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.” It gives scientific optimists like me encouragement that great thinkers have concluded it is possible to understand the…

Why Social Science? - Because It Provides Empirical Answers to Critical Public Health Questions

Oct 22, 2019

By Jeni L. Burnette, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology & Sarah L. Desmarais, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, North Carolina State University What do the opioid and obesity epidemics have in common? For starters, they are both public health crises in which the disease model is used to…

Why Social Science? - Because It Tells Us How to Create More Engaged Citizens

Sep 25, 2019

By Adam Seth Levine, PhD, Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University; President, research4impact Engaged citizens are not born. They are made. Leaders of voluntary civic associations play a critical role in this process. They offer people opportunities to exercise their voice on issues…

Why Social Science? - Because Social Science Is a Form of Service that Improves Quality of Life for People Around the World

Aug 29, 2019

By Arthur Lupia, PhD, Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation  If you are reading these words, chances are you are a social scientist or someone who cares about social science. Either way, I am grateful to you and everyone who devotes…

Why Social Science? - Because It Guides Us Toward Practical and Attainable Solutions

Aug 6, 2019

By Tom Kecskemethy, Executive Director, The American Academy of Political and Social Science The wisest quote about science that I’ve read in recent years was penned by Vanderbilt University’s Larry Bartels, in an article he wrote during the run-up to 2016 general election. He reminded us simply…

Why Social Science? - Because It Can Improve the Lives of Those Who Serve Our Country

Jun 20, 2019

By Leanne K. Knobloch, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, University of Illinois & Steven R. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, University of South Florida Throughout our nation’s history, members of the U.S. military have served our country with honor, courage,…

Why Social Science? - Because It Helps to Address Graduate Unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Apr 23, 2019

By Joseph K. Assan, PhD, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy of Sustainable Development, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University Social scientists are actively involved in working with government officials, academics, the private sector, NGOs and…

Why Social Science? - Because Social Science Equips Us with Tools We Will Need to Face Down the Biggest Issues of Our Time, Including the Growing Global Threat of Climate Change

Mar 27, 2019

By The Honorable Paul Tonko, United States Representative, New York’s 20th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives Our Earth is in crisis. More frequent and severe droughts, rising sea-levels, extreme weather and ecological damage are already here, with more loss and hardship on the…