Laurel Smith-Doerr came to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in September 2013 to serve as the inaugural Director of the Institute for Social Science Research; she was also appointed professor in the Department of Sociology. 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 Department of Sociology. She received a Jean Monnet fellowship for 2004-05 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 serving on the committee implementing the ethics education policies of the U.S. 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 interorganizational 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.