National Institute of Social Sciences

The National Institute of Social Sciences (NISS) is one of the oldest honorary societies in the United States. Established in 1913, NISS promotes the study of the social sciences, supports social science research and discussion, and presents Gold Medals to individuals who have rendered distinguished service to humanity.

The National Institute of Social Sciences
Formation1913; 108 years ago (1913)
TypeHonorary society
HeadquartersNew York City
Websitewww.socialsciencesinstitute.org

NISS is headquartered in New York City, and includes a Florida Chapter based in Palm Beach, Florida.

Current activitiesEdit

Since 1913, NISS has presented Gold Medals that celebrate the accomplishments of distinguished Americans and world leaders who have contributed at the highest level to the welfare and improvement of society. Gold Medal honorees, which include four U.S. presidents and 16 Nobel Prize winners, represent outstanding achievement in the social sciences, law, government, education, philanthropy, the arts, medicine, science, and industry.

The organization sponsors annual luncheons in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as other cultural and social events. It supports a grants program that supports graduate students in the final stages of completing their dissertations and a scholarship program for college students.

Early historyEdit

The National Institute of Social Sciences traces its origins to the American Social Science Association, or ASSA, which was established in 1865 in Boston as the American Association for the Promotion of Social Science. The ASSA was chartered by an act of the 56th Congress on January 28, 1899.[1] In 1912, the ASSA created NISS as a separate department. In 1926, when the ASSA dissolved, an act of Congress transferred its congressional charter to the NISS "for the furtherance of the interests of social science."[2]

Gold MedalsEdit

The NISS original constitution states the organization's goal "to promote the study of Social Science and to reward distinguished services rendered to humanity, either by election to the National Institute, or by the bestowal of medals or other insignia.”[3]

In 1913 the NISS bestowed its first Gold Medals in recognition of significant contributions to humanity. The first recipients were William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States, Archer M. Huntington, founder of the Hispanic Society of America, and Samuel L. Parrish, founder of the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY. Each year since 1913, (except for 1922), the organization has presented Gold Medals to distinguished individuals.

The National Institute's Gold Medal was designed by Laura Gardin Fraser, a noted sculptor with a specialty in medals.

HonoreesEdit

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Research supportEdit

In its first two decades, the National Institute published an annual Journal of the National Institute of Social Sciences, which included articles by members and scholars. The 1920 journal, for example, included articles by the noted economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen and academic Virginia Gildersleeve.[6]

In the 1970s, the National Institute supported a national project on experiential education. The project was begun in 1974 by Frank Pace, Jr., the NISS president, to strengthen field experiential education and support the NISS's "original mission and function."[7]

Grants and scholarshipsEdit

In 2011 the Institute began awarding Seed Grants to graduate students completing dissertations in social science fields.[8] In 2016, it was announced the Hirokazu Shirado, then a graduate student at Yale University, would receive the fourth Seed Grant through this program.[9]

NISS's Florida Chapter supports a college scholarship program for graduating seniors from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in Palm Beach.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "An Act To Incorporate the American Social Sciences Association. 28 January 1899" (PDF). Library of Congress. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ "An Act To amend an Act entitled "An Act to incorporate the American Social Science Association, and for other purposes."" (PDF). Library of Congress. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Constitution and List of Members of the National Institute of Social Sciences". Journal of the National Institute of Social Sciences. 7: 149. 1 August 1921. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  4. ^ Pace, Eric (12 January 1990). "Drew Middleton of The Times Dies at 76". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Susan H. Whitmore, Philanthropist, 79". The New York Times. 12 June 1993. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Table of Contents". Journal of the National Institute of Social Sciences. 4: vii. April 1, 1918. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  7. ^ Duley, John (March 1979). "The National Institute of Social Sciences' Project in field experience education". Alternative Higher Education. 3 (3): 162. doi:10.1007/BF01080546.
  8. ^ "Seed Grants". National Institute of Social Sciences. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Shirado Awarded Seed Grant for Research". Yale University Sociology Department News. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Scholarships". Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation. Retrieved 6 August 2019.