Social Science One benefits considerably from the extraordinary participation of a large number of high-profile, ideologically and substantively-diverse nonprofit foundations. Having their guidance and funding -- and just the fact that they are working together with singular purpose to make this project a success - eases considerably the difficulty of forging a partnership in the highly politicized domain that begins our project.
Social Science One’s initial project is supported by generous contributions from: Laura and John Arnold Foundation, The Democracy Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Charles Koch Foundation, Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab, and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the Social Science Research Council. These foundations fund all research without contributions from private firms, thereby removing financial influence from Facebook.
Although we are strongly in favor of private firms funding academic research in general and possibly for some of Social Science One’s future projects, the scope of our initial work on the effects of social media on democracy and elections is among the most sensitive and highly charged partisan issues today. The independent research, therefore, benefits from the involvement of substantively and ideologically diverse charitable funders who have agreed to additional processes to protect the academic integrity of the work:
The foundations take no formal role in approving any of the grants. The independent academics leading the project make all decisions about grants with full academic freedom according to the highest and most rigorous standards of science.
Funding from all foundations are pooled and administered by SSRC, which manages the peer review process and regrants funding to Social Science One and universities that house the approved research projects. Funds from any single foundation (or viewpoint) will not be used in isolation to fund any one study. Researchers report in publications and on their vitaes receiving support from SSRC and Social Science One, not from any one foundation.
Project activities, including grant giving, decision making, committee appointments, etc., are supported by the collective views of the foundations in a manner so that no one can dominate the others on any issue.
Each foundation may express their opinions to the commission but will have no voting power to change Social Science One’s decisions.
We are grateful to the foundations for their generosity and for supporting these principles.