Thursday, 19 July 2012

Social Science Research in Context: Who Is It For, Are We Doing it Right, and Does it Matter?

To what extent can and should research be influenced by practical policy concerns? This question will be discussed by young and senior researchers at a public panel discussion as part of the 2012 Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences.

We first inquire into thematic agenda-setting in the empirical social sciences. How should social scientists choose their research questions and who should set research priorities? Does the German (Humboldt) approach of “freedom of research and teaching” meet the needs of society or should scientists be given research priorities? Furthermore, we ask, what kind of questions can social scientists successfully answer for society? Finally, we discuss communication of research results: How and when should researchers communicate results and to whom? Are we currently communicating to the right audience in the right way and frequently enough?


Henry E. Brady, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and former president of the American Political Science Association.

Craig Calhoun, Professor of Sociology, founding Director of the Institute of Public Knowledge at New York University, President of the Social Science Research Council and new Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

Jesse Kalata, PhD-Candidate in Political Science at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Member of the organizing committee of the Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences

Johannes Staemmler, PhD-Candidate in Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin, IFOK/Hertie School Research Fellow and Editor of the “Zeitschrift für Politikberatung”

Paul Hockenos, Berlin-based journalist, writer and consultant

The panel discussion is followed by a reception.