July-August 2009 Issue • Volume 37 • Issue 6

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Sociologists Elected to the
National Academy of Sciences

In May, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced the election of two sociologists—Adrian Raftery, University of Washington, and Yu Xie, University of Michigan—among this year’s 72 new members. These newly elected NAS members were recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Members in the Academy, considered one of the highest honors in American science, help write reports on key scientific issues to help inform policymakers’ decisions.

"Election to the National Academy of Sciences is a huge individual honor, " said Michael Hout, University of California-Berkeley, chair of NAS section 53, which pertains to sociology, political science, and demography. "I applaud this year’s new members Adrian Raftery and Yu Xie for their many achievements. It is also important to see how sociology is growing within the NAS. To me, the way we keep growing validates our discipline’s claims of doing research that contributes to scientific knowledge."


Adrian Raferty

Adrian Raftery is Blumstein-Jordan Professor of Statistics and Sociology and the founding Director of the Center for Statistics and Social Sciences at the University of Washington-Seattle. He obtained a doctorate in mathematical statistics in 1980 from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. At Trinity College-Dublin, he was a lecturer in statistics (1980-86), and at the University of Washington, an associate (1986-90) and full (1990-present) professor of statistics and sociology. Raftery is a former editor of Sociological Methodology. He has published over 100 refereed articles in statistical, sociological, and other journals. His research focuses on Bayesian model selection and Bayesian model averaging, model-based clustering, inference for deterministic simulation models, and the development of new statistical methods for sociology, demography, and the environmental and health sciences. He was recently identified as the world’s most cited researcher in mathematics for the decade 1995-2005 by Thomson-ISI.


Yu Xie

Yu Xie is Otis Dudley Duncan Distinguished University Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan. He is also affiliated with the Department of Statistics, the Population Studies Center, the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research, and the Center for Chinese Studies. At the Survey Research Center, he directs the world-famous Quantitative Methodology Program (QMP). He began as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan in 1989 and earned tenure in 1994. He is the current editor of Sociological Methodology (2006-2009). A native of China, he received his PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1989). His research interests are social stratification, methods and statistics, demography, sociology of science, and Chinese studies. Among his numerous publications, is his often–cited book Women in Science (co-authored with Kimberlee Schauman, 2004).

The 2009 election was held during the 146th annual meeting of the Academy. NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. The Academy acts as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology. Additional information about the institution and a full directory of NAS members can be found at national-academies.org. logo


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