How can we predict outcomes before we make policy?

The Center for Impact Sciences (CIS) at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy makes evidence more actionable for policymakers. By researching new frontiers in data standardization, evidence synthesis and predictive analytics, we aim to provide policymakers with greater scientific rigor for decision making.  

Today, social science researchers and evaluators are producing more knowledge more than ever before—400,000 new studies are published every year. Yet this evidence is difficult to aggregate, synthesize, interpret and apply to every-day practice. As a result, policymakers struggle with what it means to be “evidence-based” and how to use evidence to inform program design and policy.

Recognizing this unmet need, the Center for Impact Sciences aims to advance the field in ways that:

  • Make evidence more accessible to policymakers
  • Solve problems of reproducibility and scalability
  • Develop predictive models for social impact
  • Use evidence as a platform for policy innovation

To do this, the Center for Impact Sciences will convene leading experts across the fields of program evaluation, meta-analysis, prediction sciences, statistics, econometrics, as well as policy practitioners to identify opportunities for improved translational research.

The Center for Impact Sciences will also organize an international consortium of leading public policy schools to coordinate research opportunities and share evidence. The Center for Impact Sciences will provide student fellowships and research opportunities to students at the University of Chicago.

The Center for Impact Sciences will publish insights and findings with policymakers, grant makers, and the nonprofit community to drive more evidence-based policies and program design.

The Center's Launch Event in Washington DC


Contact Us

To get involved or learn more about the Center for Impact Sciences, email Jason Saul.


Jason Saul

Executive Director, Center for Impact Sciences

Jason Saul

Jason Saul is one of the world’s leading experts on measuring social impact, advising corporations, federal agencies and philanthropies on how to maximize their impact.
John List

Associated Faculty and Academic Director, Center for Impact Sciences

John A. List

John A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. He received his B.S. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wyoming.


Harris Public Policy Announces Center for Impact Sciences

Harris Public Policy today announced the formation of the Center for Impact Sciences, an initiative to make evidence-based analysis more accessible and actionable for policymakers across all levels of government and the nonprofit sector.