ISSR-CSSI Panel Explores Social Roots of the "Replication Crisis" in Science

The “replication crisis” that is raising questions about the reliability of scientific research has been widely discussed in the fields of psychology and medicine, but has important ramifications for all scientists –social and natural. At a jam-packed April 8 seminar co-hosted by ISSR and the Computational Social Sciences Institute, ISSR Assistant Director Henry Renski (Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning) moderated a panel of five scholars from across the Colleges of Information and Computer SciencesNatural Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences, as they explored key issues, implications, and attempted remedies that this replication debate has raised. The lively discussion that ensued points to a hunger to respond to the epistemological, methodological and institutional questions that underlie the replication debate.

Social Science Research Methods for a World Where Black Lives Matter

In a world where Black Lives Matter I imagine...

The week of March 23-30, 2016 saw an exciting convergence of dialogues and debates across UMass and the Five Colleges, centering on the histories, implications and legacies of Black liberation struggles. The many events sponsored by diverse centers and departments offered and an opportunity to raise the level of our campus’ thought and action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) was pleased to collaborate with the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program (PPVP) to open and close the week’s events with two important conversations exploring how methodological innovation in social science can, and does, offer scholars committed to racial justice a range of pathways for advancing the cause.

Testing the (Un)Importance of Disciplinary Boundaries

Interdisciplinarity – a pursuit of thought and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries that underlies much of ISSR's work – has a value few would dispute in the abstract, but yields important puzzles and challenges in practice. On March 29, Millie Thayer (Sociology) led a panel conversation with four UMass scholars about their journeys toward interdisciplinarity, the historical sources and future evolution of academic boundaries, and the practical and political issues facing those who seek to build research, teaching and public engagement across disciplinary lines.

ISSR and OPD Triple Header Supporting Graduate Student Scholars

This Spring, ISSR partnered once again with the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development to offer seminars designed to help graduate student scholars put their best feet forward in the search for funding and employment. These events are just one more expression of the Graduate School’s investment in ISSR’s mission of advancing research excellence at UMass, alongside its support for training and tailored advising delivered throughout the year by ISSR’s Methodology Consultants.

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