About SoSP

The Science of Science Policy (SoSP) is a community of interdisciplinary researchers that seeks to provide a scientifically rigorous, quantitative basis for science policy. This website is a resource for developing and applying the Science of Science Policy. It offers a central location for the communication of research findings, access to datasets and analytical tools and links to resources. We welcome the active engagement and participation of Federal practitioners, researchers, others in the broader science community, and interested members of the general public.

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About SOSP

Policy makers have long been interested in access to better quantitative data, qualitative information, theory and models to guide decisions about investments in scientific Research and Development (R&D), efforts to promote scientific workforce training, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.  At the same time researchers from many disciplines across the social and behavioral and natural sciences have sought to understand factors that influence scientific discovery, technological innovation and economic competitiveness.  Scholars from these different disciplines have not always communicated or collaborated effectively with one another, or with the policy makers who are the natural audience for their research.

In 2005 U.S. Science Advisor John Marburger, III, called for a heightened effort to develop a new “science of science policy” as a formal field of study.  In 2006, in response to Dr. Marburger’s call for call for action, the Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) established an Interagency Task Group (ITG) on Science of Science Policy.   In 2008, the Science of Science Policy (SoSP) ITG developed and published The Science of Science Policy: A Federal Research Roadmap, which outlined the Federal efforts necessary for the long-term development of a science of science policy, and presented this Roadmap to the SoSP Community.

Also in 2006 the National Science Foundation established the Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program (SciSIP).  This program funds basic and applied research that develops data, tools, models, and theories that provide a scientific basis for science policy. Since its inception the program has made over 150 awards supporting a diverse group of scholars and addressing a broad range of topics. 

Interest in the Science of Science Policy is an international activity.  The Japanese government has established the Science for RE-designing Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciREX) program with the goal of promoting Science, Technology and Innovation policy making based on a rational process using objective evidence by reforming the policy-making process and developing related interdisciplinary academic fields.