Executive Report 2011

The HFSP is a fine example of how a targeted foundation dedicated to advancing the standing of social science and social policy can work in harmony with an outstanding group of scholars and researchers in the field. It also gives substance to the idea that direct support to young people seeking to make a career in academic life and public service is an idea whose time has definitely arrived.

The model of small grants provided to end users – people completing their graduate work and postgraduate individuals to whom we must turn to solve present day problems – is one way in which the HFSP cuts through a bureaucratic malaise that does as much to frustrate as to advance the purposes of innovative policy. New conditions also indicate that as we grow, so too must we innovate.

In the coming period, the HFSP must reach out to new areas of academic activities to enlarge the number of proposals from younger people drawn to newer areas. We need to target communications studies, health and welfare services, criminology and penology research, and we should also encourage submissions in hyphenated fields like political anthropology, psychology of economic decision-making, the sociology of ideological beliefs, and a myriad of crossover fields that move beyond inherited disciplines.

A wide variety of ideas have been introduced by the Board of Directors as to how research may enhance the practice of social policy by introducing new and innovative theories in the social sciences. It is the combination of expertise and commitment that drives our foundation, and through our funding decisions, encourages the expansion of decision-making, risk taking, and policy evaluation into new directions. The enlargement of the fiscal base of the HFSP should be followed by the expansion of horizons of our efforts in support of new research methods and designs.

The consensus of the meeting was the need to enlarge the efforts of the Board itself in pursuit of these aims. In future years the Foundation will appoint an executive officer to help administer such goals. But for the present no statement would be complete without expressing appreciation for the Board, which again, has helped identify an outstanding list of young grant recipients whose work defies the social odds, by overcoming inherited ideologies in the search for a more humane future.

 

Mary E. Curtis

Chairman

 

Irving Louis Horowitz

Founding Chairman (1929-2012)