The UMass scholars leading the World Wide University Network's Climate-Resilient Open Partnership for Food Security (CROP-FS) project have published correspondence in the current issue of Nature calling for early and intentional integration of social science in food security efforts. ISSR Director Laurel Smith-Doerr serves on the CROP-FS leadership team, where she and Sociology Doctoral student Timothy Sacco have been instrumental in bringing social science insights to highlight the social processes and institutions underlying scientific collaborations for food security.
Smith-Doerr investigates how science is organized in contemporary knowledge-based communities. She conducts research on inter-organizational collaboration among biotech firms, implications of different organizational contexts for women’s equity in science, scientific networks and scientists’ approaches to social and ethical responsibilities, and tensions in the institutionalization of science policy. At the workshop in Leeds she presented research highlights relevant to understanding scientific collaboration across disciplines. In CROP-FS, she and Sacco will be investigating the formation of this new, international collaboration. Understanding the processes of the formation and development of a collaborative project that crosses both disciplinary and international boundaries is important to building knowledge about both the positive impacts and challenges of collaboration. For more information about CROP-FS, see the program from the collaboration's first workshop, in April 2016.