The Social Science Institute was established by Washington University in 1956, to develop new knowledge of man in society, to test and extend present knowledge through both basic and applied research, and to give research training to graduate students. It acted as a service unit dedicated to supporting the research activities of the various social science departments.
The staff of the Institute directed several research projects that engaged graduate students as research assistants and provided them with practical research experience, both in the laboratory and in the field. The Institute brought together experts from various professional and academic backgrounds to work together on an equal basis to understand the behavior of people and consider ways of preventing future social problems. Partnerships were formed among psychology, education, law, architecture, medicine, sociology, and political science. Many publications developed out of the research. The Institute received funds from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, U. S. Public Health Services, and private funds from national and local foundations and agencies to do research on topics such as alcoholism, population control, poverty, and medical care.
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