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.

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 […]

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 […]


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.

Margaret Levi

CASBS Leader Margaret Levi Receives Breakthrough of the Year Award

Margaret Levi’s conception of “an expanded community of fate” gained international recognition as the 2020 “Breakthrough of the Year” in the social sciences and humanities. The Falling Walls Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Berlin, selected 10 “Breakthroughs” out of a pool of nearly 1,000 nominations from 111 countries.

two researchers looking at laptop screen

How Can We Ensure Our Research is Inclusive?

COVID-19 has led to new ways of working which have transformed research practices. This has created opportunities for research cultures to be more inclusive and accessible- especially to those for whom the university is a barrier. However, post-pandemic, research cultures also need to change. In this post, Stuart Read, Anne Parfitt and Tanvir Bush outline three provocations that researchers can ask as part of an inclusive research practice.


How to Run an Academic Writing Retreat

Since it started in 2011, Academic Writing Month has seen a growth of workshops and initiatives aimed at helping researchers […]


SHAPE – A Focus on the Human World

Social sciences, humanities and the arts can help us in our endeavors, which is why we, along with the British Academy and others, have recently launched SHAPE: Social sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy

Research impact in the social sciences

Competition: Share Your Story of Research Impact

As social and behavioral researchers, we expect you have a story you could tell about your work and what it’s meant to the world outside your laptop. We’re giving you the chance to share that story in our second annual Impact Storytelling Contest, with a $500 prize for each winning submission and the opportunity to get your impact story heard.

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Scott Lilienfeld

Scott O. Lilienfeld, 1960-2020: Kind Champion of Rigor in Psychological Science

Psychologist Scott Lilienfeld, a tireless ambassador of the psychological sciences to non-scientific audiences, died of pancreatic cancer on September 30. He was 59.

ESRC Celebrating Impact logo

ESRC Names 2020 Finalists for Celebrating Impact Prize

Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council has named nine professors and two teams of researchers as finalists in its Celebrating […]


Why Social Science? With Prevalent Misogyny, Women Still Don’t ‘Rule’ Equally to Men

Fifty years after Ruth Bader Ginsberg worked to secure constitutional equality for women, misogyny is still alive and well in […]


Businesses See the Value of Social Sciences, But Does Higher Education Policy?

The social sciences are recognized for their role in evaluating policy and offering practice-based interventions about ‘what works’. However, they […]

Mary Gergen

Mary Gergen, 1938-2020: Pioneer in Social Constructionism and Feminist Psychology

Social psychologist Mary Gergen, whose career explored the intersection of social constructionism, narrative studies, and feminist theories, and who was one of the founders of the Taos Institute, died of cancer on September 22. She was 82.

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Live Blogging Virtual Conference on Social Science’s Societal Impact

The Network for Advancing and Evaluating Societal Impact of Science, or AESIS, is currently conducting its Impact of Social Sciences […]

Graphic concept for auction theory

Auction Theorists Win 2020 Economics Nobel

Two economists whose work on how auctions work shone a much broader light on how people value and price goods and service have received the 2020 Nobel Prize in economics.


Universities have invested in online learning, providing students with value for money

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, so does universities’ reliance on online teaching, prompting complaints from students that they are not getting full […]


A New, Technological ‘Normal’ in the Wake of COVID-19 and Online University

COVID-19 continues to shape the structure and direction of universities, but can this reframing offer a valid experience for their students and prove that the university experience today is still worthwhile? What can students, faculty, staff and university systems do online now that will ultimately benefit and expand upon what they do on campus later?


Can Action-Oriented Research Help Social Science Be More Relevant?

‘Action oriented research’ is research which explores socially relevant problems by bridging worlds of theory and practice, which involves collaboration between practitioners (and other research ‘consumers’) and academics and which shortens pathways to impact by combining research production with research use in situ


Scientists’ Data is Here to Make an Impact

The big idea Scientists don’t take time away from their research to share their expertise with journalists, policymakers and everyone […]


Here Are the Blocks You Need to Tell Your Impact Story

At a loss for how to demonstrate impact? Laura Meagher and David Edwards outline a dynamic understanding of impact evaluation comprised of ‘building blocks’. These building blocks are five types of impacts; five broad categories of stakeholders; and eight causal factors, along with a set of over-arching reflective questions.

Hss and STEM scientists hard at work

Social Science, STEM and Career Skills: Not ‘Either/Or’ But ‘Both/And’

As Lina Ashour has recently written, SAGE Publishing has helped make possible a report by the UK’s Campaign for Social […]


In Response to ‘COVID-19 Forces Universities to Refocus their Vision’

From the budding sense of a tight-knit community of fellow students and faculty, to radio silence, for a lot of students the rapid coronavirus-driven shift to a digital university experience doesn’t feel like enough. I am one of those students — a current graduate student who recently moved back home to America to finish up the last year of a dual-degree program.

James Jackson

James Jackson, 1944-2020: Pioneering Researcher of African American Life

James Jackson, a social psychologist whose pioneering survey of Black Americans created new methodologies and new insights about the psychological resiliency of the community, has died at age 76.

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