The Society for the
Study of Social Issues

SPSSI Policy News RSS Feed - December 4, 2008

By Christopher Woodside

Dear SPSSI members,

Here is the latest update to the SPSSI Policy News Feed.  Please note the new materials at the top, a recap of some other recent postings below, and instructions for methods of viewing the Feed, as well as an "opt in" option for future policy-related e-mails at the bottom.  Thank you, and happy holidays!


SPSSI staff

Call for Experts

SPSSI Seeks Members with Research Expertise on Psychology’s Role in the Formulation of Sound Environmental and Energy Policy

Dear SPSSI members,

As we prepare for a new administration to take office, SPSSI is cognizant that President-Elect Obama will make environmental and conservation issues one of his top initial policy priorities.  Similarly, in the upcoming Congress, environmental policy and energy concerns are certain to be hotly debated, and SPSSI members with expertise in this arena would be well-positioned to offer incite on the development of any new energy policy strategies.

We ask for your assistance in identifying SPSSI members who are currently researching, or who have completed research in any of the following issue areas:

· Environmental factors and/or policy
· Renewable energy
· Conservation (ecological factors and/or behavior)
· Climate change
· Environmental attitudes and/or planning

If you, or a fellow SPSSI member you know have expertise in one of these areas, we would greatly appreciate if you would respond to this call for experts by contacting SPSSI Policy Coordinator Chris Woodside at or by phone: 202-675-6956.  We will then be able to plan how best to bring this expertise to policy makers on Capitol Hill.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Event Recap

2008 COSSA Annual Meeting Prepares Social Science Community for a New Administration, Sweeping Changes

On November 17, COSSA (The Consortium of Social Science Associations), held its annual meeting in downtown Washington, DC.  More than 75 representatives of the Consortium’s membership met in the wake of President-Elect Obama’s historic victory.  With a lame duck Congress finishing up work in Washington, the meeting attendees turned their immediate attention to the issues most likely to rise to prominence in the first 100 days after the swearing in of the new President.

James Thurber, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, led off the discussion with remarks concerning the newfound potential for sweeping changes to the political culture of Washington, and spoke about the role that President-Elect Obama will likely play in that overwhelming process. Thurber praised the eloquent style and attention to detail of the Obama campaign, mentioned the important electoral victories of many new fiscally conservative "blue-dog democrats" hailing from traditionally Republican districts, and articulated the newfound hope amongst progressives that the new President will bring people from varying political backgrounds together in a friendlier, more inclusive Washington.

Perhaps most importantly, Thurber told the audience that President-Elect Obama would likely be granted a honeymoon period in Washington during which he would be given the opportunity to begin tackling the following critical issues: the financial crisis, Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran, homeland security, immigration, health care, energy, and the environment. This time period will prove critical for advocacy organizations such as SPSSI, which will be in the important position of attempting to utilize our members' expertise in order to influence social justice-related policy decisions.

To read more about James Thurber's remarks, and to view further information on the 2008 COSSA Annual Meeting, please click here.

Recap of Recent Policy Feed Updates…

AAAS Science Serving Human Rights Event Highlights Joint Work of Scientists, Human Rights Practitioners...  read more

American Educational Research Association (AERA) Hosts Fifth Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research University of Chicago Professor Stephen W. Raudenbush presents keynote speech...  read more

What Comes Next? SPSSI Prepares for a Barack Obama Presidency…  read more

SPSSI Releases Policy Fact Sheet on Issues of Democracy and Disenfranchisement in Voting, Begins Work Disseminating Information to Key Advocacy Groups…  read more

Methods for Viewing the SPSSI Policy News Feed

Overview:  SPSSI’s Policy Feed implements a popular new format of online communication known simply as RSS (Rich Site Summary).  The only significant difference between clicking on an RSS link (identified by a specific icon), and a regular internet link, is that an RSS link can also be viewed in what is known as an "RSS reader."  For more information on how this process works, please quickly glance over the two viewing options outlined below:

Option #1: Visit the SPSSI web site directly -- Visit the SPSSI web site, locate and click on the RSS icon at the top of the homepage, then click on "Policy Feed" to be directed to a database of all Feed postings (newer postings will appear at the top).

Option: #2:  Access SPSSI Policy Feed updates through an RSS reader -- Many free RSS readers are available online.  SPSSI recommends Google Reader. Unlike some other RSS readers, Google Reader does not need to be downloaded.  Simply click on the Google Reader link included above, and follow the sign-up instructions for getting started. If you already have a Google account of some kind (all are available for free), you will be able to skip this step completely. In order to "subscribe" to SPSSI’s RSS-based Policy Feed, simply click on the blue-bolded "Add subscription" text that appears on the left-hand side of your Google Reader.  An empty box will appear and at this point, all that is required of you is to copy and paste the SPSSI Policy Feed URL (address) into the space provided, and click "Add."  Once you have successfully subscribed to the SPSSI Policy Feed, you will be able to view it any time, and access updates directly, in your Google Reader simply by clicking on the "All items" folder on the left-hand side.

SPSSI Policy News Feed "Opt In" Request

ACTION REQUIRED:  In the future, SPSSI will begin sending the Policy Feed only to members who have specifically "opted in" to a new policy distribution list. If you wish to continue receiving the Policy Feed, as well as other SPSSI policy-related materials, please e-mail SPSSI Policy Coordinator Chris Woodside and inform him that you'd like to continue receiving such e-mails. Thank you.

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin