Building the evidence basis for an inclusive Science of Science

Keynote Talk Detail: 

There has been a marked surge in the way in which data and evidence are being used in new ways to inform policy. The passage of Public Law 115-435, known as the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 or the “Evidence Act” and the Federal Data Strategy have galvanized government agencies and the academic community. As the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform pointed out in 2015,  “Without evidence, the federal government is an ineffective fiduciary on behalf of the taxpayer. Unfortunately, in many instances, federal decision-makers do not have access to the data necessary to best inform decisions. In such instances, agencies are unable to show the benefits or impacts of the programs they administer and cannot determine what, if any, unintended consequences are created by programs, or whether programs can be improved.”

This presentation describes how EPSCoR universities can advance the science of science to inform federal investments. The rich and complex data infrastructure that has been invested in by R1 institutions focusses on understanding the work of science and scientists. As such, it has uncovered new information about the dynamic longitudinal interactions on what is funded (grants), who is funded (Principal Investigators), and the characteristics of the individuals and the research teams who are employed by those funds. It is being used to understand the retention and productivity of scientists, student placements and career trajectories, as well as business startups. 

The data infrastructure is at least as rich as the bibliometrics data infrastructure that has hitherto served as the evidence basis for the study of the science of science. The expectation is that the focus on individuals, teams and careers will create an inclusive infrastructure to inform investments in science.

Keynote Speaker Introduction:

Julia is a Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She was a senior advisor in the Office of the Federal CIO at the White House, supporting the implementation of the Federal Data Strategy. She cofounded the Coleridge Initiative, whose goal is to use data to transform the way governments access and use data for the social good through training programs, research projects and a secure data facility.

Previous to this, Julia was a Senior Managing Economist and Institute Fellow at American Institutes for Research. She has held positions at the National Science Foundation, The Urban Institute, The World Bank, American University and NORC at the University at Chicago. In these positions, Julia has led many initiatives, including co-founding the Institute for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) at the University of Michigan and STAR METRICS programs at the National Science Foundation and establishing the PatentsView project at the US Patent and Trademark Office. She also initiated and led the creation and permanent establishment of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program at the U.S. Census Bureau. She has authored or edited a dozen books, published over 80 scientific papers, and received over $150 million in funding from many sources, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the McGovern Foundation, and many federal and state government agencies.

Julia is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Statistical Institute and a fellow of the American Statistical Association. She is the recipient of the 2014 Julius Shiskin award and the 2014 Roger Herriot award. She is also the recipient of the 2017 Warren E. Miller Award and the 2019 Distinguished Fellow award from the New Zealand Association of Economists. She holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Statistics.