Research Initiatives to Solve Societal Problems

Our research faculty are driven by the desire to use social science data as a means of improving society. Here are some of the key initiatives they will undertake in the coming years:

  • Expand and grow Society 2030 and its studies of an Aging Society to help elucidate the issues certain to arise in the coming demographic revolution–a transition that will affect all families, communities, and institutions across the U.S.
  • Increase our interdisciplinary efforts in environmental sustainability by collaborating with colleagues across campus and using the best possible social science to analyze obstacles to behavioral change.
  • Establish a new Center for the Study of Inequality to proactively address growing national and global inequalities in material and social well-being.
  • Improve our educational systems by conducting research on how schools work and the complex interaction of factors that contribute to child and family well-being.
  • Improve Detroit and its inner ring suburbs by providing policy-makers and community leaders with current data on the physical conditions of streets, buildings, and public spaces as well as geocoded administrative data to provide a comprehensive and objective understanding of the social environment.
  • Improve conditions in refugee camps around the world through an innovative partnership with the Women’s Refugee Committee to research, understand and document the problems of refugees around the world and to assess interventions to improve the conditions for women and children displaces by war and upheaval.