Welcome to the Impact Conversation

This collection of articles highlights the of social and behavioral science research, and interrogates the metrics by which this impact is measured.

We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences and concerns about research impact and its measurement. Join the conversation using #SocialScienceImpact, comment on the articles below, or send us your thoughts at info@socialsciencespace.com.

Paths from a PhD to the Private Sector

The impact of the pandemic on all sectors is only beginning to emerge and given the need for greater flexibility, […]

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Universities Are More than Their Score in Rankings Tables

Lizzie Gadd argues that any commitment to responsible research assessment needs to include action on global university rankings. She argues universities should unite around the principle of being ‘much more than their rank.’


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

Being bad at math can kill people. Even experts who should understand medical science and help us make good health […]

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Why Social Science? Understanding How We Talk about Asian Americans

Just over two months ago, a white male entered three Asian-owned spas in the Atlanta area, and in the ensuing […]

Eleanor Bernert Sheldon in 1972

Eleanor Bernert Sheldon, 1920-2021: Pioneer in Social Indicators Movement

Eleanor Bernert Sheldon, a pioneer in the use of social indicators as an important tool of social science, died on May 8 at the age of 101.

Ronald Inglehart

Ronald Inglehart, 1934-2021: Founder of the World Values Survey

Ron Inglehart, a political scientist whose work on surveying values around the world set new and higher bars on what such studies could achieve, has died at age 86.

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Writing Scholarly Articles That Get Cited More Than the Competition

When readers — even academic readers — do not understand an article, they are unlikely to read it, much less absorb it, share it and be influenced by its ideas.


Impact Looks Different Across Disciplines So Let’s Acknowledge That

Drawing on a linguistic analysis of REF Impact statements from 2014, Andrea Bonaccorsi, highlights key differences between statements being made by scholars in STEM and SSH disciplines and suggests differences in the causality of impact between the disciplines warrant a reconsideration of how these statements are produced and judged.


Status List of 2021 Social and Behavioral Science Conferences

Amid the ongoing pandemic, venues and events around the world are slowly reopening while others continue to remain online. Conferences […]


Event: The Future of Open Science: The Need to Change Culture to Change Science

Join the American Psychological Association for a free webinar on April 26, 2021. Improvements in the openness, rigor, and reproducibility […]


Returning Absentee Ballots during the 2020 Election – A Surprise Ending?

One of the most heavily contested voting-policy issues in the 2020 election, in both the courts and the political arena, […]


Event: An Earth-Friendly Political Economy

On April 28, 2021, join the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) in partnership with the Hewlett […]

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NSF Letter Frames Concept of ‘Broader Impact’

In a “dear colleague” letter released March 18, the head of the NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) offers a framework for understanding how to think of broader impact i applying for grant funding.


Overconsumption or a Move Towards Minimalism?

(Over)consumption, climate change and working from home. These are a few of the concerns at the forefront of consumers’ minds […]

Janet Yellen at University of Michigan

Janet Yellen: The Social Scientist in Charge at Treasury

Janet Yellen, appointed as the 78th secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in January, has a long history of work in and alongside the social sciences above and beyond her role as an academic economist and policy maker


Asking Questions, Analyzing Outcomes: Alondra Nelson and the Betterment of Society

A look at the career of Alonda Nelson, who is now essentially the national adviser for social and behavioral sciences in the United States.

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The Trailblazing Dr. Sadie T.M. Alexander

“I knew well that the only way I could get that door open was to knock it down; because I knocked all […]


Controlling the COVID-19 Pandemic Hinges on Behavior

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extraordinary devastation, claiming millions of lives and disrupting the economy and daily life across the […]


New Year Honours List 2021 Celebrates Many in Social Science

The New Year Honours, a set of awards that is part of the British honors system and presented by the reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II, recognizes the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.

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To Share Research More Widely, Knock Down University Barriers

Sharing our findings beyond academia isn’t typically seen as part of our academic workload. This is problematic for academics who are already struggling to find time to do all the things their complex workload requires of them

Collage of COVID 19 in public spaces

Why Does Social Science Not Bite?

David Canter considers why the social sciences failed to influence behavior in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The virologists had been preparing for a new virus for some years, so were already ahead of the game when they had to start creating a new vaccine. What preparations had social psychologists, sociologists or anthropologists for the inevitable emergence of a new pandemic?

word cloud of various social science terms

What I Have Learned from Social Science

I’ve spent my adult life in and around social science. Academically through studying psychology and linguistics (alongside philosophy), professionally through […]

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Return Political Science to the Noble Science of Politics

As the ‘impact agenda’ weighs ever more on political scientists (and the academy as a whole), ). this should be seen less a threat to autonomy than an opportunity to rise to political science’s inherent public responsibilities.

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2020 Proved Value of Social Science to Wider World

If there is one thing that has become abundantly clear through this pandemic it is that a pandemic, like so many of the other really big and pressing issues facing us such as structural racism or climate change, are not problems to be faced by one discipline or sector alone.

Leith Mullings

Leith Mullings, 1945-2020: Anthropologist Behind the Sojourner Syndrome

Leith Mullings, an anthropologist whose work on what she dubbed the Sojourner Syndrome created a baseline understanding of the “weathering” that the amplified stresses of race, class, and inequality have on African Americans, and in particular African American women, died on Cancer on December 12.

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