Save The Date
Social and Behavioral Science as R&D

Social and Behavioral Science as R&D

December 1, 2023

As the Council’s Centennial year draws to a close, this convening of the member institutions in the College and University Fund for the Social Sciences will bring together leaders of universities, philanthropic foundations, and public funders of science to celebrate the achievements of 100 years of socially impactful social and behavioral science, and explore new opportunities for social and behavioral science R&D to find cost-effective and scalable solutions to our most pressing societal challenges.

This one-day convening will feature a conversation about opportunities for member institutions in the College and University Fund to collaborate with the National Science Foundation on mapping and accelerating the economic impacts of research-led innovation; new university/researcher partnerships to find interventions that widen the innovation pipeline; and, as a capstone to the Council’s Centennial year, a conversation among the Council’s seven founding disciplines about 100 years of socially impactful work in the social and behavioral sciences, as well as opportunities for further advances.

For more information about the conference or about the College and University Fund for the Social Sciences, please contact Lisa Marshall, Director of Strategic Partnerships, at

Conference Speakers

Jason Owen-Smith
Professor of Sociology, Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research Survey Research Center, and co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS), University of Michigan
Aaron Chatterji
Mark Burgess & Lisa Benson-Burgess Distinguished Professor, Duke University; Former White House CHIPS Coordinator and Acting Deputy Director of the National Economic Council
Erwin Gianchandani
Assistant Director of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, National Science Foundation
C. Cybele Raver
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vanderbilt University
Patricia Cortés
Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law, Boston University
Melissa Knox
Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Economics, University of Washington
Margaret Levenstein
Director, ICPSR, University of Michigan
Jonathan Meer
Mary Julia and George R. Jordan, Jr. Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Economics, Texas A&M University
M. Jimena González Ramírez
Associate Professor of Economics, O’Malley School of Business, Manhattan College
Raka Ray
Professor of Sociology and Dean, Division of Social Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
Betsy Levy Paluck
Professor of Psychology and Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Helen Milner
B.C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
Naomi Lamoreaux
Stanley B. Resor Professor Emeritus of Economics and History, Yale University
Miguel Urquiola
Dean of Social Science and Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Columbia University
Brooke Scelza
Professor of Anthropology and Vice Chair of Graduate Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Andrew Gelman
Higgins Professor of Statistics, Professor of Political Science, and director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University

Conference Program

11:00 am - 11:15 am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
11:15 am - 12:45 pm
Universities, Innovation, and Economic Impact
University-based research is a critical driver of innovation, and innovation drives economic growth. What can the social and behavioral sciences contribute to understanding how research funders, universities, and industry partners might more effectively produce innovation-led and inclusive economic growth?
1:45 pm - 3:15pm
Widening the Innovation Pipeline
Women and minorities are substantially underrepresented in the STEM fields that are central to the production and translation of innovation, depriving those fields of critical talent. What can the social and behavioral sciences contribute to identifying cost-effective and scalable interventions that can increase the shares of women and minorities receiving STEM degrees?
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
100 Years of Social and Behavioral Science
In the 100 years since the Social Science Research Council was created, its seven founding disciplines have substantially advanced their capacities to produce policy-relevant and socially useful knowledge. What have been some of the most important of these advances? What are the most promising frontiers for further progress? What do we still have to learn from each other?