Social Sciences division ranked 7th for faculty impact in news media

The Social Sciences Division at UC Santa Cruz ranks seventh in the nation in a study based on faculty citations in the news media compared with federal research funding.

The Faculty Media Impact Project of the Center for a Public Anthropology based its study on the concept that social science researchers have a responsibility to share their findings with the broader public and that an accessible method of reaching the public is through popular media. Traditionally, researchers and institutions have been evaluated based on citations in academic journals.

The project considered work in five social science disciplines: anthropology, economics, politics, psychology, and sociology at 94 top universities. It compared 50,000 news searches, from 6,000 sources, involving 12,777 faculty members over the six-year period of 2006-2011.  It used the average number of citations of a school, department, or faculty member based on a search of Google News Archives then divided that number by the percentage a department or school has of total public funding listed by the National Science Foundation.

Schools with high rankings have comparatively high citation scores and low public funding scores. UCSC ranked seventh with a citation score of 3.74, a public funding percentage of 0.15 for a ranking score of 24.93. Highest was Rice University with a ranking score of 58.18.

UCSC's psychology department ranked No. 6 in media citations among other psychology departments in the 94 universities; politics was 10; economics, 24; anthropology, 34; and sociology, 49. Within UCSC, politics ranked first.

The Center for a Public Anthropology at Hawaii Pacific University is an organization that seeks to foster accountability in higher education and encourages scholars and their students to address public problems in public ways.