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Dr. Miron Straf Releases New Book on Using Science in Public Policy

October 17, 2012 11:02 AM

Edited by Drs. Kenneth Prewitt, Thomas A. Schwandt, and Miron L. Straf, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy is a new publication produced by the Committee on the Use of Social Science Knowledge in Public Policy; Center for Education; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council. Dr. Straf is a member of APPAM and Deputy Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academy of Sciences.   

Dr. Straf will be moderating the National Academies: Using Science As Evidence in Public Policy roundtable at the 2012 Fall Research Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Several Committee members will be speaking at the event as well, which takes place on Friday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m.

Throughout his 43 years in academics, Dr. Straf has published numerous books, reports, and papers. He received his M.S. in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Chicago. He has been with the National Academy of Sciences since 1974, where he initially served on the Committee on National Statistics and as the Committee Director from 1987 to 1999. Dr. Straf has been the Deputy Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education since 1999. He has also served as a Visiting Scholar for the U.S. Department of Transportation and George Mason University, and as a lecturer and visiting researcher at the University of London. Dr. Straf entered the academic field as an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.

Aside from APPAM, Dr. Straf is a member of several professional societies, including the American Statistical Association (serving as president in 2002), the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the International Statistical Institute, and the Washington Statistical Society. In addition to his scientific and research publications, he also wrote a standing column in Chance Magazine from 1988 through 1999.

Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy encourages scientists to think differently about the use of scientific evidence in policy making. This report investigates why scientific evidence is important to policy making and argues that an extensive body of research on knowledge utilization has not led to any widely accepted explanation of what it means to use science in public policy. Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy identifies the gaps in our understanding and develops a framework for a new field of research to fill those gaps.

For social scientists in a number of specialized fields, whether established scholars or Ph.D. students, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy shows how to bring their expertise to bear on the study of using science to inform public policy. More generally, this report will be of special interest to scientists who want to see their research used in policy making, offering guidance on what is required beyond producing quality research, beyond translating results into more understandable terms, and beyond brokering the results through intermediaries, such as think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups. For administrators and faculty in public policy programs and schools, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy identifies critical elements of instruction that will better equip graduates to promote the use of science in policy making.

A prepublication version of the book is currently available as a free PDF and final copies are available as a pre-order.

 

 

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