ISSR Director Laurel Smith-Doerr
Laurel Smith-Doerr serves as the inaugural director of the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is also appointed as a professor of Sociology. She began in September 2013.
After earning her PhD in sociology from the University of Arizona in 1999, Smith-Doerr joined the faculty at Boston University, where she earned tenure in the Sociology department. In 2004-5 she received a Jean Monnet fellowship to the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Study at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. From 2007 until 2009 she was a visiting scientist and program director in Science, Technology and Society at the National Science Foundation. For her work at NSF in leading the Ethics Education in Science and Engineering program and on the committee implementing the ethics education policies of the US Congress’ America COMPETES Act of 2007, Smith-Doerr received the NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration. She recently completed a three-year elected term on the Council of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), and continues with an elected term as an at-large Council member of the American Sociological Association (ASA).
Smith-Doerr investigates how science, gender, and organizations are connected and become institutionalized in contemporary knowledge-based communities. She conducts research on inter-organizational collaboration, implications of different organizational forms for women’s equity in science, gendering of scientific networks and scientists’ approaches to social and ethical responsibilities, and tensions in the institutionalization of science policy. Results of this research have been published in her book, Women’s Work: Gender Equity v. Hierarchy in the Life Sciences, and scholarly journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Minerva, Regional Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Sociological Forum, Industry & Innovation, Sociological Perspectives and Gender & Society. Smith-Doerr has a deep interest in interdisciplinary research, both as an object of study and as a goal for the Institute for Social Science Research.