Social Scientists Seek New Ways to Influence Public Policy

Social Scientists Seek New Ways to Influence Public Policy 1

Courtesy Dara Kay Cohen

Dara Kay Cohen, of Harvard U., is often sought out by think tanks and reporters for comments on her studies of mass rapes in wartime.

As conflicts in Rwanda, Bosnia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have brought public attention to the problem of mass rapes, Dara Kay Cohen has fielded calls from the news media, advocacy groups, and think tanks about the policy implications of her research.

But public interest in her studies of sexual violence during war presents a challenge: Her research doesn't offer the neat and tidy answers that policy makers and pundits seek.

"I'm trained to pitch a general