Discovering Solutions through the Social Sciences

Today’s most urgent problems— such as energy and the environment, affordable health care, national security, world hunger, and social inequity—will not be solved by experts working within a single discipline. Rather, these issues require the insights of USC scholars from fields as divergent as law and public health, engineering and economics, political science and neuroscience, business and computer science working together collaboratively.

USC has a history of distinction in these fields. Our faculty members in the social sciences include Nobel laureates, National Academy members, innovators, thought leaders, and trailblazers—individuals who have fundamentally shaped their disciplines and pioneered entirely new fields. They have helped create fuller, more meaningful, and more useful insights into ourselves and the world in which we live.

By investing in our strengths, USC can continue its tradition of achievement. Already the distinctive partnership between the USC School of Pharmacy and USC Price School of Public Policy positions USC to be the preeminent program in the country in health policy and economics.

We are conceiving translational social science ventures that will assemble experts from diverse disciplines to study societal issues and find solutions that can be quickly moved from the halls of academia to realworld applications. We have recently launched an initiative on immigration and integration and a center on energy and sustainability. Another example is network analysis that combines business, economics, law, and computer science to study the structure of social relationships and the ways these relationships transmit information.

Weaving these strands together will be a new Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Building—a one-of-a-kind building on the University Park campus, overseen by the university’s provost. This fertile intellectual environment will encourage exchanges that lead to transformative research, academic distinction, and a more enlightened society.