News

Call for Papers: Unbounding Ethnography Conference

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. 

Michelle Budig, SBS Dean's Research Excellence Award

Michelle Budig, Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been awarded the inaugural SBS Dean's Research Excellence Award. This award by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass recognizes distinguished achievement in scholarship and research, and recipients are nominated by their peers. Dr. Budig is a founding member of the ISSR Advisory Board, and a valued colleague in promoting our mission of advancing excellence in social science research. We celebrate her recognition as the first winner of this highly competitive award, and look forward to fruitful collaboration with her and with all the nominated scholars whose distinction makes her selection all the more compelling.

COSSA Analysis for Action: Congressional Appropriation Votes on NSF and More

The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) reports that on May 24 the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill. This bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and countless other federal departments and agencies. The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced its version of the CJS bill on April 21. Highlights below; read more here.

Big Ideas for Big Data on the Impact of Research Funding: Julia Lane and the Opportunity of IRIS

State-level spending flows from one federally-funded research university

If you want to know the impact of research funding, says science and innovation policy guru Julia Lane (NYU/Wagner and Center for Urban Science and Progress), you need a system that puts people, and not publications, at the center. And if you want to produce this knowledge at the speed and scale of its emergence, she argues, you need to be aware of the challenges and opportunities that lie in using big data in social science. In her April 1 seminar on social science and big data research, Dr. Lane described the IRIS project as one approach that has had to address both these challenges – in a project that has been the challenge of tracing the effects of federally-funded research initiatives into the economy and society. Dr. Lane’s seminar, sponsored by ISSR and CSSI, was an invitation for social scientists to take charge of the rising tide of questions about the impact of research funding, and to direct it in the scientific tradition – with clear research questions, a conceptual framework, and sound methodological approaches.

ISSR-CSSI Panel Explores Social Roots of the "Replication Crisis" in Science

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.

Social Science Research Methods for a World Where Black Lives Matter

The week of March 23-30, 2016 saw an exciting convergence of dialogues and debates across UMass and the Five Colleges, centering on the histories, implications and legacies of Black liberation struggles. The many events sponsored by diverse centers and departments offered and an opportunity to raise the level of our campus’ thought and action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) was pleased to collaborate with the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program (PPVP) to open and close the week’s events with two important conversations exploring how methodological innovation in social science can, and does, offer scholars committed to racial justice a range of pathways for advancing the cause.

Pages