A Society of Policy Scientists
Overview and Current Activities
The Society for the Policy Sciences was established in 1995 and operates under the auspices of The Policy Sciences Center, Inc. The basic purpose of the Society is to advance knowledge and practice in the policy sciences in the service of human dignity for all. Consistent with this basic purpose, the Society encourages and supports research, practice, and education in the policy sciences; disseminates knowledge and information for members and non-members through various means of communication; conducts an Annual Meeting; recognizes outstanding contributions to the policy sciences and provides other services for members; and funds activities for such purposes through membership dues, gifts, grants, contracts, and enterprises. The Society gives priority to problems or opportunities that are central to its basic purpose and require coordination or collaboration among members.
The principal governing body of the Society is its Executive Council. Members of the Society in good standing may be nominated to serve three-year terms on the Council. Members of the Council elect its officers from among its membership. In addition to the Executive Council, the Society has a number of standing committees, but working groups of Society members with a shared interest are the principal organizational means for pursuing the Society's basic purpose. The working group on learning the policy sciences, for example, hosted a workshop in Summer 2000 in Boulder, Colorado. The Society also sponsored a workshop that was hosted by a working group on appraisal of decision processes. Working groups focused on scientific leadership and international development may soon form.
In 1998, the Society entered into an agreement with Kluwer Academic Publishers with respect to the journal Policy Sciences. Policy Sciences, which began publication in 1970, is now a publication of the Society and the Society has a primary responsibility for selecting its editor whenever the editorship becomes vacant. A subscription to Policy Sciences is included with payment of Society membership dues.
In 2000, the Society established three electronic listserves to facilitate communication about Society business and the policy sciences in general. Two of the listserves are closed, one for the Society Executive Council and one for the Society membership as a whole. The third listserve is open to anyone with an interest in the policy sciences. It is accessible through the following email address: email@example.com.
Background of the Society's Development
The idea of establishing a professional society dedicated to the advancement of the policy sciences was discussed formally and informally over a period of years. In 1995, the initiative that culminated in the founding of the Society for the Policy Sciences was crystallized in a series of working papers. At that time, the drafters of the working papers referred to the proposed society as "A Society of Policy Scientists." These papers are constitutive documents for the Society and demonstrate how the policy sciences were used in the process of establishing the Society [reproduced below]. The working papers consist of three principal sections: (1) A Problem-Oriented Analysis; (2) Introduction to a Charter (for the Society); and (3) The Charter (of the Society). The procedure for joining the Society now in effect is described in Article III of the Society's Charter.