UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State researchers recently participated in Social Science Advocacy Day, held virtually by the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) on March 29.
COSSA’s eighth annual Social Science Advocacy Day brought together 70 social and behavioral scientists from across the country to meet with members of Congress and their staffs to advocate for the research community. This year, advocates from 22 states met virtually with 88 different congressional offices to discuss the value of the social and behavioral sciences to issues of importance to policymakers.
Five Penn State researchers met with the offices of members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, including Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and Reps. Madeleine Dean, Fred Keller and Glenn Thompson.
“The COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day is a great opportunity for the research community to demonstrate the profound value of the social sciences directly to policymakers,” said organizer and attendee Michael Donovan, associate director of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative (EIC) and an assistant research professor of social science and public policy at Penn State. “The effort is vital to fostering science champions in Congress, especially among the Pennsylvania delegation, and is an important experience for the researcher participants who must hone their message to the policymaker audience, bridging the gap between policy and research.”
In addition to Donovan, Penn State was represented by:
- Boni Wozolek, assistant professor in the division of social sciences, Penn State Abington.
- Rachael Brown, associate professor in the division of social sciences, Abington.
- Francesca Lopez, Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy and professor of education, College of Education, University Park.
- Guangqing Chi, professor of rural sociology, demography, and public health sciences and director of the Computational and Spatial Analysis Core, University Park.
Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute was a sponsor of the event. The EIC is a research center for the science of scientific impact — aiming to improve the relevance, value and use of research evidence to increase societal well-being. The EIC leverages expertise in administrative data, program design and evaluation, and researcher-policymaker relationships to optimize public and private investments. The EIC is a unit of the Social Science Research Institute and supported by the College of Health and Human Development.