September-October 2008 Issue • Volume 36 • Issue 7

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ASA Brings Sociology to Capitol Hill

Washington, DC, June 25—ASA sponsored another successful and popular science poster on Capitol Hill at the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) 14th Annual Exhibition and Reception. ASA has consistently participated for several years in this annual showcasing of exemplary National Science Foundation-supported research for the purpose of educating policymakers about this important science agency.

Ohio State University sociologists Ruth Peterson and Lauren Krivo displayed their research, Race, Residence & Crime: A Structure of Inequality, to the more than 400 attendees at the event, including several members of Congress and their staff, key congressional committee staff, the leadership of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and representatives from other policymaking and research agencies.

Peterson and Krivo, supported by a NSF grant, reviewed data from the National Neighborhood Crime Study to uncover relationships among race, ethnicity, crime, and neighborhoods. The National Neighborhood Crime Study combines police crime data with socioeconomic and demographic information from the 2000 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the 2000 U.S. Census of Population and Housing.

Ruth Peterson shares her research findings
with her home state U.S. representative,
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in Washington, D.C.

The sociologists reviewed crime rates, demographics, and the social and economic circumstances of 8,286 neighborhoods in 87 cities in the United States. The research sought to determine the extent to which neighborhoods are racially/ethnically segregated, the social and economic consequences of neighborhood segregation, and how these factors might explain divergent patterns of neighborhood violent crime and property crime.

Peterson and Krivo found that race, place, and neighborhood conditions are intricately connected in the United States. Racialized inequality, particularly neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage, has dramatic implications for violent crime in urban neighborhoods.

Peterson and Krivo shared their findings with Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and David Price (D-NC), as well as top-level congressional staff from the House Appropriations Committee, the House Science Committee and its Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, among others.

The CNSF event highlighted a total of 37 research projects supported by NSF. Projects covered topics as diverse as climate change, computer games, nanomaterials, and solar telescopes. For a complete listing of the posters, see

CNSF, of which ASA is a member, is an alliance of more than 115 organizations united by a concern for the future vitality of the national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research enterprise as well as the integrity and health of the related kindergarten through graduate educational pipeline. small_green


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