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.

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 […]


Can Civics Education Boost Youth Voting? Research suggests No

After the insurrection, the impeachment, the trial and ongoing partisanship in 2021, many Americans are looking to civics education as […]

Drops impact

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.

cartoon showing sharing

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 […]

Punk rocker seen from behind

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.

Road into city with 2021 in foreground

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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Once upon a time written on graph paper

Think of Impact Statements As Maps, Not Short Stories

As a precondition to receiving research funds, many research funders require applicants to state how their project will ultimately achieve impacts prior to any work being undertaken. Reflecting on a study of these impact statements made to the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme, Lai Ma, argues that such statements often introduce a narrow short-term bias to considerations of impact and presents four ways impact statements could be used more productively.


Reward and Recognize Open Science?

Calls to align incentives in academia to promote open research practices are not new. However, in recent years research funders are increasingly implementing policies and schemes designed to promote open science practices amongst researchers. In this post, Maria Cruz and Hans de Jonge outline details of the Dutch Research Council’s (NWO) new Open Science Fund, which they suggest is the natural next step towards a culture of open science in Dutch research.


To Better Serve Students and Future Workforces, We Must Diversify the Syllabi

Ellen Hutti and Jenine Harris have quantified the extent to which female authors are represented in assigned course readings. In this blog post, they emphasize that more equal exposure to experts with whom they can identify will better serve our students and foster the growth, diversity and potential of this future workforce. They also present one repository currently being built for readings by underrepresented authors that are Black, Indigenous or people of color.


Video and Audio Resources on Structural Racism

Free webinar: Having conversations about race in the classroom Professor of criminal justice Stephanie A. Jirard offers suggestions on how […]

Robert Langer in his lab

Researchers Talk About University Impact and How to Measure It

As part of the Impact at UTS podcast series, staff at University of Technology Sydney spoke to researchers about how they navigate collaboration, engagement – with communities, industry and government – and impact.


Connective Consumption? Lockdown Life is Restructuring the Ways We Socialize

People have had a host of responses to lockdown living, ranging from cutting off all contact with others, to maintaining […]


Should PhD Students Be Trained to Make an Impact?

In addition to thesis writing, PhD candidates in SHAPE subjects are expected to be able to communicate their research to […]


Marketing Opportunities and the Commercialization of Social Sciences

The social sciences have a crucial role to play in the COVID-19 recovery, and in addressing many other challenges society […]

ESRC Celebrating Impact logo

Layard Receives Lifetime Achievement Award as ESRC Names 2020 Impact Winners

Britain’s Celebrating Impact competition, now in its eighth year, recognizes and rewards ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved impact through outstanding research, knowledge exchange activities, collaborative partnerships and engagement with different communities.

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