Skip to main content

Fay Lomax Cook, National Science Foundation

Broader Impacts of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Fay Lomax Cook is Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she heads the Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE). She is on leave as a professor at Northwestern University. Abstract: The extent to which the social, behavioral, and economic sciences can and do affect public policy has long engaged the interest of social scientists. At the NSF, our goal is to support basic research. Can basic research affect policy? In fact, NSF’s merit-review criteria are twofold: not only intellectual merit but also broader impact. This talk will examine the multiple ways through which the SBE attempts to fund basic research that will have broader impacts. Second, it will present examples of how SBE-funded research has had broader impacts, including policy impacts. Third, it will examine two challenges to SBE research, from Congress and about the replicability of SBE research.