Partnering with SSRI

Since the creation of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) in 2003, the institute has been adding new affiliates to its group of social science experts. Its most recent addition, the Behavioral Science & Policy Center (BSPC), was established in 2012 to promote the application of rigorous behavioral science research into concrete policy solutions that serve the public interest.  BSPC will serve as the headquarters of the Behavioral Science & Policy Association (BSPA), a public benefit corporation. 

 Sim Sitkin, BSPC Director and Professor of Management at the Fuqua School of Business, said it's an important time to provide an avenue for social science research to help better inform “the policies, decisions and implementation of public and private sector organizations.”

“We know a lot about how people and social systems function and it is a terrible waste to have decisions made in a vacuum when relevant information could be made available,” Sitkin said. “We hope to help fill what is currently a gap.”

Jointly affiliated with SSRI and the Behavioral Science and Policy Association (BSPA), BSPC has the attention of both the social science and policy communities.

Coordinating the publication of a new journal, Behavioral Science & Policy (BSP), published by Brookings Institution Press, will be the major activity for the center. BSP is a new peer-reviewed journal promoting the practical application of behavioral science research to address complex policy challenges. 

BSPC will also assist BSPA in hosting policy-related workshops and briefings and offering other scholarly activities that promote application of behavioral science research by public and private sector policy makers.

At the announcement of the formation of the Center, former SSRI Director S. Philip Morgan observed, “A key goal at Duke and SSRI is to make a difference by linking the cutting-edge research to the major issues and social problems of the day. Sim’s initiative promises to make important contributions toward this goal and we look forward to supporting BSPC.”