Ron Haskins, Isabel Sawhill Named 2016 Moynihan Prize Winners
Ron Haskins
Isabel Sawhil
This year, for the first time, the American Academy of Political and Social Science has awarded the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize to two individuals. "The Academy proudly recognizes  Ron Haskins  and  Isabel Sawhill  as the winners of this year's Moynihan Prize," said AAPSS President Ken Prewitt. "Their commitment to creating strong public policy despite political differences and to encouraging civility and scientific partnership make Belle and Ron most worthy recipients of this award. Senator Moynihan spent a great deal of his career in public service working for evidence-based policies that support child development and strong families; the careers of Drs. Sawhill and Haskins are proof of that ideal continuing in public life today."  Read more.....
The AAPSS Elects Distinguished Class of 2016 Fellows
Since the founding of its Fellows program in 2000, the AAPSS has inducted 106 Fellows, most of them university-based scholars responsible for research that has changed our understanding of human behavior and the world in which we live. AAPSS Fellows have also been public servants, working in institutions of government to improve the common good, and this year's cohort adds another Nobel Prize winner to the list of dignitaries.


The five 2016 Fellows of the Academy are: Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; James J. Heckman of the University of Chicago; Sherman A. James of Duke University and Emory University; Thomas J. Sugrue of New York University; and Philip Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania.


"Each of these distinguished individuals has taught us that the results of powerful and compelling research can serve the common good by contributing to the quality of public policy making," said AAPSS President Kenneth Prewitt.  "We are honored to welcome them to the Academy." Read more...


Academy Holds Capitol Hill Briefing on Public Policy and The State of Working-Class Families
More than 100 people attended a forum organized by the AAPSS and the Annie E. Casey Foundation on family policy and the changing American family.   The event featured a panel of some of the nation's leading experts on the topics. Participants Andrew Cherlin of John Hopkins University, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institute, Sara McLanahan of Princeton University, and Robert Putnam of Harvard University presented evidence on what we know about the state of American families, marriage, and the extent to which policy has been promoting positive outcomes and upward mobility for children.  

The discussion was moderated by Michael Gerson , a columnist for The Washington Post, with Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Robert Casey (D-PA) generously sponsoring the event.  To view the C-SPAN recording of the event, click here .

President's Corner
As I assumed the presidency of The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) this past summer, social science research --including, of course, that published in the AAPSS flagship journal,  The ANNALS - - was getting a mixed reception in Washington, D.C. It was appreciated and put to use in some quarters but elsewhere confronting doubts about its merit, not least by members of Congress responsible for National Science Foundation (NSF) funding. 

Although President Obama's proposed FY2017 budget recommends a 6.1 percent increase for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences arm of the NSF, it is not likely that this budget will be approved in the current Congress. The prospect is flat funding. Even that is a victory of sorts. There has been an active congressional effort to sharply reduce NSF's social science funding; an effort that has, to date, been successfully challenged by a broad coalition of science organizations and research universities. Many readers will have joined in the push back.

The AAPSS has played its part--sponsoring congressional briefings, promoting issues of The ANNALS germaine to current policy debates, and in continuing to celebrate the legacy of a remarkable scholar, public intellectual and working politician through the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Lecture on Social Science and Public Policy. To end my comment on a happy note: This year's Moynihan Prize winners, Ron Haskins and Belle Sawhill, both of the Brookings Institution, will give a public lecture on Capitol Hill in May and subsequently publish their remarks in The ANNALS. Ron and Belle exemplify the Academy's mission-quality research put to use in the policy process.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, imprisonment patterns in the United States are shifting. Overcrowding in California's prisons, for example, has forced the state to reduce its prison population and enact a controversial new law called "Public Safety Realignment." This law requires California to supervise many of its offenders at the county level, rather than the state level. 

In the March volume of  The ANNALS, special editors Charis Kubrin and Carroll Seron bring together an inter-disciplinary group of scholars who research prisons, mass incarceration, and related policies to examine the origins of the prison overcrowding crisis, the diffusion and translation of law and policy reform, the impact of prison downsizing on the criminal justice system, and the future of decarceration.  Read more.

And coming up in the May 2016 volume of The ANNALS, special editors Christopher Wildeman, Sara Wakefield, and Hedwig Lee gather scholars to look at how mass incarceration affects the family members of those who are "doing time." 
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Volume 17, February 2016
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February 29, 2016:  A Webinar on California Prison Realignment

Please join the AAPSS and the  Sentencing Project  for a webinar highlighting the key findings of the March 2016 volume of The ANNALS, "The Great Experiment: Realigning Criminal Justice in California and Beyond." Volume contributors Margo Schlanger of the University of Michigan, Ryken Grattet of the University of California-Davis, and Magnus Logstrom of the Public Policy Institute of California will be presenting their research on Realignment as well as its implications. Marc Mauer, Executive Director of the Sentencing Project, will be the moderator. Click  here  to participate.