Task Force on Improving Public Perceptions of Political Science's Value

This report to the APSA Council discusses how Political Science as a corporate entity engages in two principal tasks – the creation of knowledge and the dissemination of knowledge. Creation of knowledge is, at base, a product of the actions of individual scholars and small scholarly groups. And many of the ways in which political scientists currently communicate – through their teaching, publication in journals, and conference presentations – were developed in less competitive communicative eras. To remain relevant, we must adapt. But how?

This report, commissioned by the American Political Science Association, identifies means by which individual scholars and professional organizations can make political science’s insights and discoveries more accessible, more relevant, and more valuable to more people. Our main finding is that there are many ways in which APSA, and similarly situated professional organizations, can help political science communicate its insights to a wide range of diverse constituencies using a dynamic collection of communicative strategies and technologies. At a time when prominent individuals publicly question the value of our discipline, it is imperative to move aggressively and effectively. The moment to act is now.

Full report Let's Be Heard!

Task Force Chair
Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan

Task Force Members

  • Brian Baird, Former Member of Congress & National Academy of Science Behavioral and Social Science Advisory Board
  • Adam Berinsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cheryl Boudreau, University of California, Davis
  • Khalilah Brown-Dean, Quinnipiac University
  • Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, University of Texas
  • James Druckman, Northwestern University
  • Melissa Harris-Perry, Wake Forest University & MSNBC
  • Sara Binzer Hobolt, London School of Economics
  • Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University & Chair of APSA Publications Planning Ad Hoc Committee
  • Bruce Jentleson, Duke University, Bridging the Gap
  • Rose McDermott, Brown University
  • Diana Mutz, University of Pennsylvania
  • Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College and the New York Times
  • Dan Schnur, University of Southern California & Communications Director 2008 McCain presidential campaign
  • Daron Shaw, University of Texas
  • John Sides, George Washington University & the Monkey Cage
  • Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania
  • Carol Swain, Vanderbilt University & bethepeople.tv
  • Joshua Tucker, New York University & the Monkey Cage
  • Lynn Vavreck, University of California Los Angeles & the New York Times

Task Force Advisors

  • John Aldrich, Duke University and APSA President
  • Kathleen Hall-Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania & Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center
  • Mala Htun, The New School for Social Research & recent APSA task force chair
  • John Ishiyama, University of North Texas and APSR lead editor
  • Howard Silver, Former Executive Director, COSSA
  • Kaare Strom, UC San Diego & Chair of APSA Committee on Publications

Questions or comments? Please contact publications@apsanet.org.