Let us explain. By now, our readers know a few things about The Society Pages (TSP, as we like to call it; social science that matters and all that):
- We ask scholars to share their knowledge in a way that’s publicly accessible, but never dumbed-down
- We give away our content for free online
- We’re non-partisan and our authors speak for themselves
Well, as it turns out, these are just a few of the things we share with Theda Skocpol’s big new initiative, the Scholars Strategy Network (of course, these are also a few reasons we signed on as SSN members ourselves earlier in the year). Not even a year old, the SSN now boasts over 100 members and has 8 regional chapters. What really makes the network unique is its goal of providing information not just for the public, but for policy makers who want to draw on solid social science and practical recommendations from leading researchers.
Through their policy briefs and “basic facts” pieces, SSN helps the evidence-based research of academia find its way into government in the most direct way possible: by informing citizens and their elected officials. These short, accessibly written briefs summarize key research findings, present basic facts on timely topics, and spell out policy options on issues of immediate public and political concern. Prepared by a stellar cast of leading scholars (folks like Jacob Hacker, Doug Massey, Ruth Milkman, and Suzanne Mettler), these are really great and useful pieces, and dozens of them are available—all for free—on topics ranging from jobs creation and economic growth to health and education reform, immigration policy, elections, and the environment.
To help SSN expand its reach, we’ll be featuring a number of their policy briefs and “basic facts” pieces in full-text in a special SSN area of our website in the coming months. We’ll also be pointing out particularly relevant pieces for you to go explore on their site (where you can always download a PDF of every article—and for free, did we say that?), highlighting SSN scholars on our Twitter account and in Office Hours interviews, and otherwise inviting you to learn more about the network.
In the meantime, we invite you to sneak a quick peek for yourselves. You’ll see that more than a few friends of and contributors to TSP are involved, including Minnesota’s own Larry Jacobs, one of the four featured scholars for the inaugural month of June. You should can also scroll through SSN’s brand new collection of original research briefs. Close followers of TSP will quickly realize, in fact, that over the past few months we’ve cited or linked to some of this great material already—on immigration policy (Kathy Fennelly), tax cuts and Republicans (Monica Prasad), and the role of government in economic innovation (Fred Block and Matthew Keller), just to name a few.
Anyway, this is all just offer a hearty TSP welcome to the Pages, SSN!