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Call for Brief White Papers

September 19, 2012

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The Social Observatory Coordinating Network (SOCN) invites your input to shape the future of the social sciences. SOCN is an NSF-funded working group charged with developing a network of Social Observatories to meet data and infrastructure needs. We invite community members to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the development of the scientific agenda and/or structure of the proposed network of observatories.

Rapid social and economic change and remarkable advances in technology present new challenges and opportunities for scientific research. The modalities for collecting and linking information and the opportunities provided by new data sources have radically changed. A new national network of social observatories can meet these data and infrastructure needs. The background of this initiative is described in a set of previous workshop reports, available at We seek your input through brief white papers to shape the future of the social sciences, which will be posted at this web site for discussion unless you explicitly opt not to have it available. Submissions should be no more than 800 words in length. Please include up to five (5) keywords. Use the form. We welcome submissions at any time.

We invite comments on the following key questions as well as any other issues you wish to raise:

  • What research questions could you address with the observatory structure?
  • How could it serve your data and infrastructure needs?
  • How could the observatory structure be adapted to better serve your research needs?

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