Dr. Arthur Lupia Receives the 2021 Charles E. Merriam Award

The Charles E. Merriam Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) in recognition of a person whose published work and career represent a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research.  

Arthur Lupia is the University of Michigan’s Gerald R Ford Distinguished University Professor. Since 2018, he has also served as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation, where he leads their Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate. Since 2019, he has co-chaired the Subcommittee on Open Science for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  His research examines how people make decisions when they lack information. He has worked with organizations around the world to improve quality of life through better management of complex information flows. His topics of expertise include information processing, coalition building, and strategic communication. His professional honors include the National Academy of Science’s Innovation in Research Award and APSA’s Ithiel de Sola Pool Award. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.  He is a former APSA Treasurer, a former APSA Council member, led APSA’s Task Force on Public Engagement, and has served on or chaired many APSA committees over the last 30 years.  

Citation from the Award Committee: 

We are pleased to present Dr. Arthur Lupia with the 2021 Charles E. Merriam Award, recognizing “a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research.”   

Dr. Lupia is the Gerald R. Ford Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan and the Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation. His contributions to political science scholarship have been profound, resulting in six authored or co-authored books and edited collections as well as over 100 articles in leading journals in political science, economics, law, and health policy. Over the course of this research, he has developed new tools for understanding the role and importance of information and deliberation in decision-making in democratic politics.  

Dr. Lupia has also been an “open science” pioneer in our discipline, making the case for data sharing, replication and pre-registration.  He co-chaired the APSA Ad Hoc Committee on data access and research transparency (DA-RT), establishing new ethical guidelines and transparency standards for the discipline, which have since been adopted by political science associations and universities around the world.  Arthur also founded Time-Sharing Experiments in Social Sciences, enabling social scientists to share data and run experiments on a nationally representative subject pool.  He has also been the Principal Investigator of the American National Election Studies, and helped design and establish the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models Summer Institutes, which have trained many generations of graduate students and junior faculty in new theoretical approaches and empirical methods in our discipline. 

Dr. Lupia has also taken on many leadership roles in political science and in the social sciences more broadly.  These include Chair of the National Research Council’s Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research; Chair of the American Association of the Advancement of Science’s Section on Social, Economic, and Political Sciences; President of the Midwest Political Science Association; and a number of leadership positions in APSA. He has also been an instrumental part of political science’s public face in engaging with policymakers, especially in his thoughtful and energetic defense of public funding of political science and social science research, and his advocacy for the social value of scientific research.   

Dr. Lupia’s research and public contributions have been recognized and celebrated by his peers.  He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He has won several prestigious fellowships with the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Andrew Carnegie Corporation, and the Center for the Study of Behavioral and Social Sciences. He has additionally won several major awards for his research, including APSA’s Ithiel de Sola Pool Award, the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Mitovsky Innovator’s Award, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Initiatives in Research Award. 

We are delighted to be able to recognize Arthur Lupia’s outstanding research and public engagement contributions with this year’s Charles E. Merriam Award.  


APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Professor Simon Hix (Chair), London School of Economics; Dr. Sarah A. Fulton, Texas A&M University; and Dr. Seth E. Masket, University of Denver .