Tackling Academia's Crisis of Relevance and the Emergent Role of the Engaged Scholar

In his December 7 seminar on what he termed “Academia’s crisis of relevance” at the Institute for Social Science Research, Professor Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan) promised to be provocative, in order to push scientists outside of their comfort zones, and scientific institutions into faster change. Hoffman, who earned his BA in chemical engineering from UMass Amherst and his PhD in management/civil & environmental engineering from MIT, quickly delivered on that promise, with a rapid-fire review of studies on the “abysmal state” of public perceptions of science.

Big Data and Small City Governance: Whose Analysis? Whose Expertise?

On Friday, October 20, a crowded house of social scientists, computer scientists, and planners gathered in the new ISSR lab to discuss insights emerging from a National Science Foundation funded project on the social sciences and big data. Leading the dialogue were the project’s principal investigators, who have each been program directors at the National Science Foundation: Susan Sterett, Director of the School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Kelly Joyce, Director of the Science, Technology & Society Center and Professor of Sociology at Drexel University.

ISSR Consultant Rodrigo Domínguez-Villegas on protection of unaccompanied child migrants

Drawing upon previously unpublished government data obtained through the Mexican freedom of information system, interviews with key Mexican officials and accounts from civil-society organizations, a new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) assesses Mexico’s legal framework for child protection and its treatment of unaccompanied children, from apprehension through detention and adjudication of international protection claims. The report, Strengthening Mexico’s Protection of Central American Unaccompanied Minors in Transit, finds that while Mexico has undertaken ambitious reform of its child protection system, implementation of these policies is uneven and ongoing.

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