Tobin Project Coordinates 'Transformative Research' by Scholars and Policy Makers

The organization, building on a Nobel laureate's vision, convenes interdisciplinary thinkers to attack key societal problems

Tobin Project Coordinates 'Transformative Research' by Scholars and Policy Makers 1

Evgenia Eliseeva

David A. Moss, the Tobin Project's founder and president, says a key part of its success is to bring together scholars and policy makers at regular intervals to talk broadly. Then the scholars continue to work on the problem back on their campuses.

Enlarge Image
close Tobin Project Coordinates 'Transformative Research' by Scholars and Policy Makers 1

Evgenia Eliseeva

David A. Moss, the Tobin Project's founder and president, says a key part of its success is to bring together scholars and policy makers at regular intervals to talk broadly. Then the scholars continue to work on the problem back on their campuses.

When David A. Moss was a graduate student at Yale University, in the 1980s, he struck up a friendship with one of his economics professors, James Tobin. The Nobel laureate would talk to Mr. Moss about the trap that so many social scientists fall into: focusing their attention on filling little gaps in the literature rather than tackling larger societal problems. The most important decisions a scholar makes, Mr. Tobin said, are the problems he chooses to work on.

It was a