Toward a Science for and of the People: Promoting Civil Society through the Application of Developmental Science



Applied developmental science (ADS) is scholarship that seeks to advance the integration of developmental research with actions — policies and programs — that promote positive development and/or enhance the life chances of vulnerable children and families. Through this integration ADS may become a major means to foster a science for and of the people. It may serve as an exemplar of the means through which scholarship, with community collaboration, may contribute directly to social justice. In so doing, ADS helps shift the model of amelioration, prevention, or optimization research from one demonstrating efficacy to one promoting outreach. When this contribution occurs in the context of university–community partnerships, ADS may serve also as a model of how higher education may engage policy makers, contribute to community capacity to sustain valued programs, and maintain and perpetuate civil society through knowledge-based, interinstitutional systems change.