American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
November 2015

Science Policy

NSF Seeks Candidates for Division Director of Social and Economic Sciences

Science PolicyThe National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced that it is accepting applications for the position of Division Director for the Social and Economic Sciences (SES) Division within the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). The Division Director “provides leadership and direction for the support of research and education activities that develop and advance scientific knowledge focusing on political, economic, and social systems and how individuals and organizations function within them.” More information on the position can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter from SBE. Applications may be submitted through USAJOBS.


Census: Measuring Race and Ethnicity across The Decades: 1790-2010

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a new interactive visualization, which shows how race and ethnicity categories have changed over time since the first census in 1790. This visualization allows interested individuals better understand the relationship between historical classifications and the present time. A static version of this same visualization was presented in April 2015 at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting. The interactive timeline was created to establish a starting point for the public—including community stakeholders, academics, and data users — to understand how race and ethnicity categories have changed over 220 years in the decennial census. This understanding is important in order to interpret results from the 2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment and the current mid-decade testing of race and ethnicity questions, including the 2015 National Content Test. The National Content Test will inform design changes for collecting data on race and ethnicity in the 2020 Census and other ongoing demographic and economic surveys conducted by the Census Bureau. For more information, see

PRB Releases World Population Data Sheet

Each year, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) provides the latest demographic data for the world, global regions, and more than 200 countries. This year’s collection of indicators include several focusing on the status of women in key areas such as education, employment, and government. Looking at the numbers across the world, researchers are able to get a picture of women’s progress towards empowerment—available at This year’s Data Sheet package includes: a digital visualization at featuring a customized data dashboard where users can view multiple indicators for a region or country, a video focusing on what the data say about the state of women’s empowerment, an interactive world map illustrating key demographic variables by country and region, a lesson plan for teachers, and PRB’s DataFinder database.