Colleagues from the SSRC’s Measure of America program discuss how research on human well-being can shape policies to enhance it. Using the program’s in-depth research in Sonoma County, California, as a case study, the authors show how their findings of surprising disparities can effect change through local partnerships and strategies to communicate results in ways that resonate with a wide range of community members.
Duncan J. Watts
Duncan J. Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research (MSR) and an A.D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University. Prior to joining MSR in 2012, he was from 2000–2007 a professor of sociology at Columbia University, and then a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directed the Human Social Dynamics group. His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals, from Nature, Science, and Physical Review Letters to the American Journal of Sociology and Harvard Business Review, and has been recognized by the 2009 German Physical Society Young Scientist Award for Socio and Econophysics, the 2013 Lagrange-CRT Foundation Prize for Complexity Science, and the 2014 Everett Rogers M. Rogers Award. He is also the author of three books: Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (W. W. Norton, 2003) and Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness (Princeton University Press, 1999), and most recently Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know The Answer (Crown Business, 2011). Watts is also part of the Social Science Research Council’s Digital Culture program as part of its advisory board.