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In his December 7 seminar on what he termed “Academia’s crisis of relevance” at the Institute for Social Science Research, Professor Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan) promised to be provocative, in order to push scientists outside of their comfort zones, and scientific institutions into faster change. Hoffman, who earned his BA in chemical engineering from UMass Amherst and his PhD in management/civil & environmental engineering from MIT, quickly delivered on that promise, with a rapid-fire review of studies on the “abysmal state” of public perceptions of science.

ISSR and CRF Scholar Application Strategies

On December 12, the Directors of ISSR and CRF shared their top tips on choosing the Scholars program for you, and making a successful case for your selection.
Check out the slides, and contact us if you have any questions!

Academia's Crisis of Relevance and the Engaged Scholar

On December 7, 2017, Professor Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan) delivered a provocative talk arguing that scientists must engage beyond the Academy, in order to remain relevant and inform important public debates. In his remarks, he emphasized the lessons we have already learned on how to do so effectively, and the questions we must continue to address in order to make good on this central, and oft-overlooked, purpose of science.

On Friday, October 20, a crowded house of social scientists, computer scientists, and planners gathered in the new ISSR lab to discuss insights emerging from a National Science Foundation funded project on the social sciences and big data. Leading the dialogue were the project’s principal investigators, who have each been program directors at the National Science Foundation: Susan Sterett, Director of the School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Kelly Joyce, Director of the Science, Technology & Society Center and Professor of Sociology at Drexel University.

Pathways and Potholes for Women in Science authors

Some sixty members of the University community turned out for the launch of a new volume of research that offers new insights on the realities of women's careers in science. The volume, entitled Pathways, Potholes, and the Persistence of Women in Science: Reconsidering the Pipeline (Lexington Books), is edited by UMass Professor of Sociology and Chancellor's Faculty Advisor for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence  Dr. Enobong (Anna) Branch. With an introduction by Dr. Craig Martin, Professor of Chemistry at UMass Amherst, the panel of three of the volume's authors drew from research across academic and industry science settings to illustrate the supports and constraints that shape women's journeys through careers in science.

Unbounding Ethnography image

The Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst requests presentation and poster proposals for the first interdisciplinary graduate student conference on ethnographic methodologies held on our campus.  The November 4-5 2016 conference is titled Unbounding Ethnography: Theory and Method Beyond the Disciplines, with Keynote address by Michael Burawoy, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. 

The “replication crisis” that is raising questions about the reliability of scientific research has been widely discussed in the fields of psychology and medicine, but has important ramifications for all scientists –social and natural. At a jam-packed April 8 seminar co-hosted by ISSR and the Computational Social Sciences Institute, ISSR Assistant Director Henry Renski (Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning) moderated a panel of five scholars from across the Colleges of Information and Computer Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences, as they explored key issues, implications, and attempted remedies that this replication debate has raised. The lively discussion that ensued points to a hunger to respond to the epistemological, methodological and institutional questions that underlie the replication debate.

The “replication crisis” that is raising questions about the reliability of scientific research has been widely discussed in the fields of psychology and medicine, but has important ramifications for all scientists –social and natural. At a jam-packed April 8 seminar co-hosted by ISSR and the Computational Social Sciences Institute, ISSR Assistant Director Henry Renski (Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning) moderated a panel of five scholars from across the Colleges of Information and Computer SciencesNatural Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences, as they explored key issues, implications, and attempted remedies that this replication debate has raised. The lively discussion that ensued points to a hunger to respond to the epistemological, methodological and institutional questions that underlie the replication debate.

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