Director’s Message: November 2016

Authored By 
Jacob Hacker
Publication date 
November 30, 2016
In an era of political upheaval, ISPS’s mission—to examine American politics and public policy through the lens of the social sciences—is more important than ever. Case in point: ISPS Health Director Zack Cooper’s blockbuster new paper on the “surprise billing” of ER costs, co-written with ISPS affiliate Fiona Scott Morton. Another example: ISPS’s contribution to Yale’s “Day of Data”—a December 1 talk with “open science” pioneer Brian Nosek, moderated by our own Allan Dafoe (who also offers a stimulating take on the future of artificial intelligence on our blog). Meanwhile, our Graduate Policy Fellows are providing their own informed perspectives. Molly Offer-Westort writes on how we can’t grasp policies’ consequences without understanding their “spillover effects” because in randomized experiments we don’t just “treat” the target of a policy, but everyone in their social networks. Conor Walsh offers a much-needed reminder of the significant entrepreneurial role of immigrants. And Adam Chekroud looks to the future of personalized treatment for mental illness in light of the changing environment of FDA review. Last but not least: Visiting graduate student Richard Johnson reprises a forgotten yet timely chapter in American racial history—the KKK’s surprising endorsement of a liberal, black Democrat over a quarter century ago.