Why communicate social sciences?

Bringing attention to and communicating the social sciences effectively is just as important as the research and findings scientists work so diligently to uncover. This is the message Alan Leshner, CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), relayed to the members of The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) recently during a seminar held the day prior to the 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington D.C.

Leshner’s presentation, “Why Support Social Science - and How to Say It,” emphasized an open dialogue between social scientists and their representatives while using the different subjects as common-ground to solve local issues as social science research relates.

Another important component from Leshner’s talk was the increasing acknowledgement and understanding that social sciences are receiving from lawmakers. The raised awareness around these sciences and how they provide evidence-based research gives politicians the knowledge to solve issues that affect communities, states, and the nation.

This recent development is a result of the increase in communication between social scientists, the public and respective representatives, which models Leshner’s point to members of COSSA: social scientists should take advantage of this opportunity to further communicate the value of their disciplines.

Leshner contributes to National Academic Panels, including “The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National Priorities” and “Communicating Science Effectively.”

The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National Priorities” report for the National Science Foundation connects social, behavioral and economic sciences to the pressing issues in the United States, bringing attention to how the nation benefits in developing and supporting these fields.

Communicating Science Effectively - This research agenda explains how to develop the best approaches in communicating science and why it is important to accomplish this for a modern, scientific society.