Fay Lomax Cook

Fay Lomax Cook

Professor Emeritus, Human Development and Social Policy
Faculty Fellow , Institute for Policy Research

Annenberg Hall
Room 207
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-0001
Phone: (847) 491-8704
Fax: (847) 491-9916


Fay Lomax Cook is on leave from Northwestern University  at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where she was appointed Assistant Director of NSF and head of the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (see and for details of her appointment). At Northwestern, she is Professor of Human Development and Social Policy in the School of Education and Social Policy and faculty fellow in the Institute for Policy Research. From 1996 to 2012, she was director of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research. 

She has been president of the Gerontological Society of America; a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation; a member of the Expert Panel on Performance Outcome Measurement, U.S. Administration on Aging; a member of the Ford Foundation's research advisory committee on Social Welfare Policy and the American Future; a scientific consultant to the National Institute on Aging; and a member of the North American Program Committee for the International Congress on Gerontology. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Her research focuses on the interrelationships between public opinion and public policy, the politics of public policy, how Americans come together to discuss policy issues, and the dynamics of public support for Social Security and other social programs. She is the author or co-author of many scholarly articles and book chapters as well as five books, including Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America with Lawrence Jacobs and Michael Delli Carpini (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Curriculum Vitae

Adobe Acrobat PDF View Fay Lomax Cook's CV.



Year Degree Institution
1977 PhD, Social Welfare Policy University of Chicago
1972 MA, Social Welfare Policy University of Chicago
1968 MA, English Literature University of North Carolina
1965 BA, English Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi

Selected Publications

Bolsen, Toby, James N. Druckman, and Fay Lomax Cook. (In Press) (Working Paper/In Press/Under Review). Communication and Collective Actions: A Survey Experiment on Motivating Energy Conservation in the U.S.. Journal of Experimental Political Science.

Cook, Fay Lomax and Rachel L. Moskowitz (2014). The Great Divide: Elite and Mass Opinion about Social Security in Robert B. Hudson, ed, The New Politics of Old Age Policy Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Bolsen, Toby, James N. Druckman, and Fay Lomax Co (2014). The Influence of Partisan Motivated Reasoning on Public Opinion. Political Behavior 36: 235-262.

Bolsen, Toby, James N. Druckman, and Fay Lomax Cook (2014). How Frames Can Undermine Support for Scientific Adaptations: Politicization and the Status Quo Bias. Public Opinion Quarterly 78 (1): 1-26.

Cook, Fay Lomax; Benjamin I. Page; and Rachel L. Moskowitz (2014). Political Engagement by Wealthy Americans. Political Science Quarterly.

Cook, F. L. (2011). The need for public deliberation: Giving the public a voice on affordable health insurance. ournal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 36(5): 879-85.

Cook, F.L., L.R Jacobs, and Dukhong Kim (2010). Trusting What You Know: Information, Knowledge, and Confidence in Social Security. Journal of Politics).

Cook, F. L. and M. Czaplewski (2009). Public Opinion and Social Insurance: The American Experience in  Leah Rogne, Carroll Estes, Brian Grossman, Brooke Hollister, and Erica Solway, Social Insurance and Social Justice: Social Security, Medicare, and the Campaign Against Entitlements Springer Publishing Company.

Jacobs, Lawrence R., Fay Lomax Cook, and Michael X. Delli Carpini (2009). Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America.. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bolsen, T. and Cook, F.L (2008). Public Opinion on Energy Policy 1974-2006. Public Opinion Quarterly : 364-388.

Cook, F. L.; M. X. Delli Carpini, and L. R. Jacobs (2007). Who Deliberates? Discursive Participation in America in Rosenberg, Shawn, Can the People Govern? Deliberation, Participation and Democracy (pp. 25_40). MacMillan.

Cook, F.L (2005). Navigating Pension Policy in the United States: From the Politics of Consensus to the Politics of Dissensus about Social Security. Tocqueville Review: 37_66.

Cook, F. L., with M. Delli Carpini and L. Jacobs (2004). Public deliberation, discursive participation, and citizen engagement. Annual Review of Political Science.

Cook, F.L., Barabas, J. & Page, B.I. (2002). Invoking public opinion: Policy elites and social security. Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 66:2: 235264.

Manza, J. and Cook, F.L. (2002). A democratic polity? Three views of policy responsiveness to public opinion in the United States. American Politics Research, vol. 30:6: 630667.

Cook, F.L. and Jacobs, L.R. (2002). Assessing assumptions about American attitudes about Social Security: Popular claims meet hard data in Edelman, P. & Salisbury, D.L., The Future of Social Insurance (pp. 82110). Washington, D.C.: Brooking Institution Press.

Cook, F. L., with J. Barabas and B. Page (2002). Policy elites invoke public opinion: Polls, policy debates and the future of social security in F.L. Cook, J. Manza, and B. Page,  Navigating Public Opinion: Polls, Policy, and the Future of American Democracy Oxford University Press.

Cook, F.L. (2002). Intergenerational equity in D. J. Ekerdt, R. A. Applebaum, K. C. Holden, S. G. Post, K. Rockwood, R. Schulta, R. L. Sprott, and P. Uhlenberg, Encyclopedia of Aging Springer Publishing Company.

Cook, F. L. (2002). Living longer, living better: The challenge to policymakers. Living Longer, Living Better, Special Committee on Aging.

Cook, F. L., with J. Manza and B. Page (2002). Navigating Public Opinion: Polls, Policy, and the Future of American Democracy. Oxford University Press.

Cook, F. L., with Edith J. Barrett (1992). Support for the American Welfare State: The Views of Congress and the Public.. Columbia University Press.

Research Interests

The interrelationships between public opinion and social policy; the politics of public policy; the effects of public deliberation on political knowledge and participation; and the dynamics of public support for older Americans.


Professional Service

Year Organization Position Description
2013 American Political Science Association Paper Presented American Political Science Association’s Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award for Best Paper Delivered at Annual Conference 
2012 International Conference on Aging and Social Security. Zhejiang University and Gerontological Society of America, Hangzhou, China. Invited Keynote Address
2010 Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden Invited Keynote Address
2010 Roper Center Academic Advisory Board Founding member
2004 Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), France Visiting Scholar
2000 Gerontological Society of America President
1999 Virginia Little Memorial Lecture, University of Vermont Lecturer
1999 Institute on Aging, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Distinguished Lecturer
1997 Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development Distinguished Guest Lecturer
1997 Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA Fellow
1996 Gerontological Society of America Elected Fellow
1990 National Academy of Social Insurance Elected Fellow

Last Updated: 2019-12-03 16:23:31