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Sociologists Join Board of Social Science Research Council

The Board of Directors of the Manhattan-based Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has recently elected two sociologists to its ranks: Troy Duster and Doug McAdam. They join fellow sociologists Judith Tanur, Cora Marrett (chair), Walter “Woody” Powell, and a number of other prominent social scientists and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines and institutions. The Board regularly reviews the Council’s intellectual programs and elects its president.

Broadly international, the SSRC has worked since 1923 to advance social science research and education, enhance communication among scholars, and bring useful social knowledge to public attention. It is an independent, nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that seeks to advance social science throughout the world, supporting research, education, and scholarly exchange. The SSRC has linked universities, foundations, social science disciplines, area studies associations, and government and nongovernmental organizations in exploring new intellectual paths and testing theories and methods against the challenges of contemporary and historical problems.

Troy Duster replaces Neil Smelser as the official liaison to the Council for the ASA. Duster is Professor of Sociology at New York University (NYU) and holds an appointment at NYU’s Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge. He is also chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. From 1996-99, he served as a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, and during the same period served as member and then chair of the joint NIH/DOE (National Institutes of Health/Department of Energy) advisory committee on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (the ELSI Working Group). Duster is the author of a number of articles on the social implications of new technologies. His most recent publications on the topic are “The Sociology of Science and the Revolution in Molecular Biology,” in J. R. Blau, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Sociology (Blackwell, 2001), and “The Social Consequences of Genetic Disclosure,” in Ronald Carson and Mark Rothstein, eds., Culture and Biology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).

Doug McAdam also has significant ties to the ASA. He sits on both the Committee on Publications (fall 2000 to the present) and its Career of Distinguished Scholarship Committee (1996 to the present). He is Professor of Sociology at Stanford University and was recently appointed Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, California. Widely known for his work on networks and social activism and its relationship to institutionalized politics, McAdam has lectured extensively on these subjects and is the author or co-author of eight books and more than 50 articles in political sociology. His writings have a special emphasis on studying social movements and revolutions, perhaps the most prominent of which are his books Freedom Summer (Oxford University Press, 1988) and Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency (University of Chicago Press, 1999 [2nd edition]). Recently, he has edited with Mario Diani Social Movement Analysis: The Network Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2001) and has co-authored with Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly The Dynamics of Contention (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

In their roles on the SSRC Board, Duster and McAdam will help continue SSRC’s tradition as a generator of new knowledge on key social issues and maintain SSRC’s long commitment to international, interdisciplinary social science that focuses on themes of public importance.