Penn State researchers recently participated in the Consortium of Social Science Association’s (COSSA) annual Social Science Advocacy Day, meeting virtually with Congress and their staff during this annual event.
Penn State social and behavioral scientists and stakeholders were teamed up with other social scientists from Pennsylvania for a day of virtual meetings with House and Senate offices to share with them why federal support for social and behavioral science research is so important.
Michael Donovan, associate director of Penn State’s Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative, was one of six researchers in attendance representing Penn State.
“The COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day was virtual again this year, but still a great opportunity for representatives of the Penn State research community to interact with members of the legislative branch in order to facilitate an ongoing dialogue,” Donovan said.
According to COSSA, more than 60 social and behavioral scientists from 21 states participated in the event to discuss the many ways social and behavioral science can help the nation recover from the pandemic and tackle the other major challenges it faces. The researchers were equipped with materials that help to explain the unique contributions the social and behavioral sciences make to recovery and to address other pressing national issues; these factsheets are available on COSSA’s Advocacy Resources page.
“Our group represented Penn State well by highlighting some of the remarkable science being done in studying and responding to the current pandemic and by showcasing how social and behavioral science has a major role to play,” said Donovan. “The goal here is to minimize the gap between government and academia, a goal pursued partly by fostering interactions and relationships that can further both research and public policy goals. Key to that is framing social science and its impacts in approachable ways that clearly showcase the intersections and relevance to both communities. The COSSA Social Science Advocacy Day is a great way to forward this work.”
Other Penn State researchers that attended COSSA’s 2021 Social Science Advocacy Day included:
- Sarah Rajtmajer, assistant professor of information sciences and technology
- Emily Pakhtigian, assistant professor of public policy
- Robert Lennon, medical doctor, associate professor in family and community medicine, Penn State College of Medicine
- Alyssa Gamaldo, associate professor of human development and family studies
- Hilary Wething, assistant professor of public policy
Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute was a sponsor of the advocacy day.