Kenneth Prewitt, former SSRC president, traces the history of the debates on the accountability of American social science to those who fund and use it. As demands for accountability are currently on the rise, and as expectations for its demonstration grow, Prewitt outlines key dimensions of a strategy for maintaining the autonomy of social science research and using the insights of social science to better understand its own impact.
Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor in Columbia University’s public policy school. Prewitt has also served as the president of the Social Science Research Council, senior vice-president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and the director of the US Census Bureau. He now serves as the Advisory Committee Chair of DBASSE, the social science division of the National Academies of Sciences; as president of the American Academy of Social & Political Science; and as a NORC Trustee at the University of Chicago.