Following its launch in 2023, the initial phase of center research activities will focus on substantive areas where there is strong scientific interest at Caltech: climate change and sustainability, biotechnology and bioethics, and the ethics of artificial intelligence. In each substantive area the center will collaborate with other Caltech research centers, in particular the Resnick Sustainability Institute, the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, the Center for Social Information Sciences (CSIS), and the Merkin Institute for Translational Research.
The CSSPP's research efforts will center around developing and sustaining new scientific studies at Caltech in these thematic areas that will focus on each topic's unique ethical implications, policy impacts, and scientific communication. The center's founding co-directors will work closely with center postdoctoral researchers, as well as Caltech faculty and students, and produce novel and unique research contributions in these areas. In addition, the center will organize and host workshops and conferences that will present these research products and help to better connect Caltech researchers and policymakers. Finally, the center will fund other research efforts at Caltech, so faculty and students interested in these areas are encouraged to contact the center directors for additional information.
Here are some examples of policy-relevant publications by scholars affiliated with CSSPP:
- "Issue Responsiveness in Canadian Politics: Are Parties Responsive to the Public Salience of Climate Change in the Question Period?" (2023) by R. Michael Alvarez and Jacob Morrier, Political Research Quarterly.
- "Why Don't Americans Trust University Researchers and Why It Matters for Climate Change" (2023) by R. Michael Alvarez, Ramit Debnath, Daniel Ebanks, PLOS Climate.
- "Generative AI and the Future of Elections" (2023) by R. Michael Alvarez, Frederick Eberhardt, and Mitchell Linegar.
- "Conspiracy spillovers and geoengineering" (2023) by Ramit Debnath, David M. Reiner, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Finn Müller-Hansen, Tim Repke, R. Michael Alvarez, and Shaun D. Fitzgerald, iScience.
- "COVID-Dynamic: A large-scale longitudinal study of socioemotional and behavioral change across the pandemic" (2023) by Tessa Rusch, Yanting Han, Dehua Liang, Amber R. Hopkins, Caroline V. Lawrence, Uri Maoz, Lynn K. Paul, and Damian A. Stanley, Scientific Data.
- "Facilitating system-level behavioural climate action using computational social science" (2023) by Ramit Debnath, Sander van der Linden, R. Michael Alvarez, and Benjamin K. Sovacool, Nature Human Behavior.
- "Social media enables people-centric climate action in the hard-to-decarbonise building sector" (2022) by Ramit Debnath, Ronita Bardhan, Darshil U. Shah, Kamiar Mohaddes, Michael H. Ramage, R. Michael Alvarez, and Benjamin K. Sovacool, Scientific Reports.
- "The politics of vaccine hesitancy in the United States" (2021) by Jian Cao, Christina M. Ramirez, and R. Michael Alvarez, Social Science Quarterly.
- "How (Not) to Reproduce: Practical Considerations to Improve Research Transparency in Political Science" (2021) by R. Michael Alvarez and Simon Heuberger, PS: Political Science & Politics.
- "Dynamic Social Media Monitoring for Fast-Evolving Online Discussions" (2021) by Maya Srikanth, Anqi Liu, Nicholas Adams-Cohen, Jian Cao, R. Michael Alvarez, and Anima Anandkumar, KDD '21: Proceedings of the 27th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining.
- "Finding Social Media Trolls: Dynamic Keyword Selection Methods for Rapidly-Evolving Online Debates" (2019) by Anqi Liu, Maya Srikanth, Nicholas Adams-Cohen, R. Michael Alvarez, Anima Anandkumar, AI for Social Good workshop at NeurIPS.
Here is an example of unpublished work by scholars affiliated with CSSPP:
- APSA 2023 presentations on carbon tax research and on election attacks from Beatrice Magistro, Sreemanti Dey, Daniel Ebanks, and R. Michael Alvarez.