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News and Announcements
To Secure Knowledge Task Force Report
to be Released on September 17
To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good, the final report of the SSRC’s To Secure Knowledge Task Force, will be released on September 17 and presented at an event in New York City. SSRC president Alondra Nelson and Task Force co-chairs Bernadette Gray-Little and Ira Katznelson will introduce the report at this public event. A panel of leaders from academia, philanthropy, and the private sector will provide commentary. The Task Force was created by the SSRC to examine and offer recommendations on the optimal conditions for social science research at a moment when universities, business, government, and the nonprofit sector are playing shifting but vital roles in the social knowledge ecosystem.
The SSRC has received a two-year, $1.4 million grant from the Mastercard Foundation to be the learning facilitation and assessment partner for the foundation’s Young Africa Works program, designed to lift young Africans out of poverty through collaborative work across public, private, and civil sectors. The partnership is part of the Council’s Strategic Learning and Evaluation program.
A recent $429,000 Ford Foundation grant to the SSRC’s Understanding Violent Conflict program is supporting the new China-Africa Peace Fellowship. The program has selected its first cohort of fellows and will soon send eight Chinese scholars to Africa to begin fieldwork alongside their African counterparts on a range of critical issues.
SSRC Labs Launched
The Digital Culture program has launched SSRC Labs, a new initiative that offers free and accessible training in digital scholarship held at in-person conferences to a wider audience. The first set of self-directed modules, Doing Digital Scholarship (DoingDS), was developed in collaboration with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. More content will be added to SSRC Labs in the months ahead.
The SSRC will have a significant presence at the American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting in Boston, August 30–September 2. On August 30, Council president Alondra Nelson will discuss the SSRC’s Social Data Initiative as part of a panel discussing "Facebook and Democracy." That same day, the Council’s Anxieties of Democracy program will host four panels, as well as a reception that evening at which Nelson and previous SSRC president Ira Katznelson will speak.
Mary McDonnell has been named senior vice president for strategic learning and special initiatives, a new role with a primary focus on continuing to grow the Strategic Learning and Evaluation program she created. McDonnell has been in leadership at the Council for thirty-two years, the last eighteen as executive director.
Samar Al-Bulushi, an alumni fellow of both the SSRC’s Dissertation Proposal Development and International Dissertation Research Fellowship programs, marks the twentieth anniversary of the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania with a reflection on their legacy in Items.Al-Bulushi is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and assistant professor (beginning fall 2019) in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.