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Six Social Scientists Receive Inaugural Impact Writing Prize from Social Science Space

January 16, 2020

Six social and behavioral scientists were recently awarded the 2019 Impact in Action Writing Prize for their submissions detailing how their research makes a valuable difference beyond academia. Four submissions received the top prize from Social Science Space, an online social network sponsored by SAGE Publishing; two focus on education, one on immigration, and one on autism.  

The recipients are:

  • Cheryl Durwin and Dina Moore of Southern Connecticut State University, who studied how conversations with children about the text they are reading can improve literacy among preschoolers from poor households;
  • Lynn Thigpen, director of The Wisdom Project, examined how to end illiteracy among adults in Cambodia;
  • Maria Kreuzer of the International University of Monaco looked at how receiving countries can make immigrants feel they ‘belong’ sooner; and
  • Ian Male and William Farr of Britain’s NNHS Trust researched how to better assess children who may have autism.

The contest, which asked how researchers’ work has made a difference in a way that the public or policymakers could appreciate, received entries from around the world. Entries were judged on four criteria: the research itself, its impact, its wider applicability, and the writing skills exhibited in the article. The recipients received a cash prize for their work, and their articles will be published on Social Science Space in the coming months

'It’s so gratifying to see genuinely proud parents of truly impactful social and behavioral research telling their own stories of often unheralded advances,” says Michael Todd, editor of Social Science Space. “My hope is that more will choose to tell their stories at Social Science Space – or anywhere public, actually – about the benefits of today’s social science.”

In its inaugural year, Social Science Space’s Impact in Action Writing Prize is a part of SAGE’s larger initiative to demonstrate, measure, and promote social science impact beyond citation counts. In 2019, the company released a white paper to lay the groundwork for improving social and behavioral science impact metrics. Sign up to receive a new quarterly newsletter sharing the latest on how to improve how SBS impact is measured and celebrated by emailing

To read more about the awards and recipients, visit Social Science Space.



Those interested in engaging in the social science impact debate can do so at or on Twitter using #SocialScienceImpact

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Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. A growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

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