There are worrying signs, to be sure – attacks on climate science, bills to limit data collection, lapsing evidence-based policy outfits. Nonetheless, says the head of the Consortium of Social Science Associations, social science so far is “flying under the radar” in the first few days of a Trump administration, and she’s concerned that alarmed rhetoric in the science community may backfire by “showing our hand” before social science actually is in the crosshairs.
In a wide-ranging webinar examining how U.S. social science — both federally funded social and behavioral science and evidence-based policy making – will fare in 2017, Wendy A. Naus explained that there is legitimate concern to be had and her organization isn’t complacent. “We’re sort of the duck in the pond,” she said in a webinar Thursday. “We’re trying to stay calm and positive above the water, but underneath we’re kicking around and getting organized.” For example, COSSA is participating in the March for Science on April 22.
In the hour-long conversation with Social Science Space editor Michael Todd, she also discussed what individual scholars, students and their academic societies can do if they feel threatened by the currents in Washington, D.C.
Naus has been the executive director of the consortium, known as COSSA, since 2014. COSSA is a nonpartisan umbrella organization that works to protect and promote social and behavioral science. Over her career, Naus has worked to shape legislation, programs, and regulations important to the research community and has advocated for increased research funding across federal agencies. Her latest initiative at COSSA is the Why Social Science? Website, which aims to “share the benefits and contributions of federally funded social and behavioral science research with the public and encourage its widespread use for tackling challenges of national importance.”
The full webinar, sponsored by Social Science space and COSSA, is archived here: