Social Science Research Council

New York

The SSRC is a nonprofit organization that promotes interdisciplinary social science research. The SSRC was organized by Charles Merriam, chair of the University of Chicago’s political science department, several other scholars including economists, political scientists, and sociologists. They believe that social science research should be the foundation of public policy. The organization initially focused on three areas: social welfare, economic development, and international relations. One of the SSRC’s earliest initiatives was the Committee on Economic Research, which conducted research on economic issues, particularly those related to the Great Depression. Merriam desired a closer integration of the social sciences. SSRC conducted research on a variety of topics including the first study of human migration from a social sciences perspective. Some of their reports led to the creation of innovative public policy.