Social scientists are increasingly involved in the work of appocnted commissions. As advisers, consultants, or members of such bodies, social scientists may have an opportunity to promote the use of social science knowledge in the policymaking process. Based on existing literature, a model for analyzing the behavior of commissions is developed, and the role of social science in the model is discussed. The model is then applied to the case of Boston's Safe Schools Commission. Data on how social science was used by this commission are used to suggest several modifications to the model Despite many constraints that prevent commissions from taking full advantage of social science, it is concluded that they frequently provide a significant vehicle for increasing the influence of social science on policy. © 1985, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.