How Does the History of Social Science Influence its Present? | Three views on the legacies that shape today's social science research

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We make social science but not out of conditions of our own choosing. While social institutions are a large part of the content of the social worlds that we investigate, our means of investigation are also affected by those very institutions. As social scientists we are thus always at risk of using some concept or idea or theory or instrument that may be ‘doing work’ that we might not first recognize. In other words, we may be unknowing carriers of political forces, intellectual pathologies, or be doing the bidding of some social forces we have inherited from the past. This article summarizes the discussion of how historical legacies that shape scientific research in ISSR's final panel on its 2019 seminar series on Social Science & Social Location.

Announcing three Social Science and Environment Seed Grants

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The Institute for Social Science Research and the School of Earth and Sustainability, in partnership with the Institute for Diversity Sciences at UMass, are pleased to announce the winners of this year's Social Science and Environment Seed Grant competition. These SSEN Seed Grant awards totaling $40,000 in new investments will stimulate new scholarly collaborations for innovative research centered on sustainability themes in the social sciences. The winning grants link scholars across three colleges at UMass, and exemplify the SSEN commitment to spanning disciplinary boundaries to open new ways of conceptualizing and studying the defining issues of our times. Please join us in celebrating these important initiatives.

Joya Misra appointed Director of ISSR

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Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, has been appointed Director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) in the UMass College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), for a three-year term effective September 1, 2019. Misra succeeds Laurel Smith-Doerr, who has served as Director of ISSR since 2012, building it into a vibrant center for promoting excellence in social science research. Join us in congratulating them for their leadership and service to excellence in the social sciences across UMass.

Report | NSF Workshop Report on Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work

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On April 4, the co-PIs presented the final report of a one-year project funded by the National Science Foundation's research program on the Future of Work at Human-Technology Frontiers. The project, Understanding Emerging Technologies, Racial Equity and the Future of Work, convened experts in the social sciences, computational sciences and engineering to articulate the knowledge needed to shape emergent techologies that are equitable and result in "good" jobs for a wider range of workers, and elicited broader stakeholder feedback on this academic conversation.  

View the report here.

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