November 2013 Issue • Volume 41 • Issue 7

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(From left to right) E. Helen Berry, Joachim Singelmann, Nina Glasgow, Douglas Gurak, Howard Silver, Kenneth Johnson

Congressional Briefing on Aging in Rural America:
21st Century Trends

Once rural America was young; now it is a lot older, resulting in opportunities and challenges for nonmetropolitan areas. The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) hosted a congressional briefing in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2013, that addressed those prospects.

In an overview at the briefing, Nina Glasgow (Cornell University) observed that, in 2012, nearly 17 percent of the nonmetropolitan population was age 65 or older compared with only 13 percent in metropolitan areas. The last of the baby boomers will reach age 65 by 2030 when one in five Americans are expected to be of retirement age.

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Manuscript Review Strategies

In August 2011 the ASA Council appointed an ad hoc committee to investigate manuscript review times in journals. The subcommittee identified several areas in need of improvement, such as presenting more accurate measures of editorial lag statistics. Another recommendation was that ASA interview reviewers nominated by editors as unusually skilled and then create and publicize a document summarizing these reviewers’ strategies for reviewing articles thoroughly and in a timely manner.

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Major ASA Award Recipients Honored in New York City

The American Sociological Association (ASA) presented the 2013 major awards at this year’s Annual Meeting on August 12 in New York City. The Awards Ceremony, followed by the Presidential Address, was well attended. These awards are given to sociologists for their outstanding publications, achievements in the scholarship, teaching, and practice of sociology, as well as for their overall advancement of the discipline.

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International Perspectives

Public Engagement:
Differences Between the U.S. and the UK

I attended the British Sociological Association’s (BSA) Conference “Engaging Sociology” in April, and I was drawn into the debate around how the sociological community in the UK can have more impact on social and political discourse. Given the traditional anti-intellectualism of the British media and its disdain for expert commentary, how then do sociologists have an impact on social and political debate in the UK? In addition, given the narrowness of the Research Excellence Framework’s (REF) definition of ‘impact,’ as needing to be linked to peer review, what incentives are there for sociologists and academics more generally to engage in broader public debate on issues where they could and should have a voice as public intellectuals?

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Special Announcement

2013 Section Awards Now Available!