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Public Affairs Update

  • Duster in Leadership at AAC&U . . . . Sociologist Troy Duster (New York University and University of California-Berkeley) becomes Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in January 2002. He has been serving as Vice Chair. Duster currently is Chair of ASA’s Task Force on an ASA Statement on Race.

  • MacCrimmon Not Coming to NSF . . . . With a false start, Ken MacCrimmon (University of British Columbia) backed off coming to head the Social and Economic Sciences Division in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). A key post for advancing fundamental research in sociology and the social sciences, NSF Assistant Director Norman Bradburn is moving to alternates as Footnotes goes to bed. Perhaps a sociologist is high among them!

  • Nakamura Named Acting Director at NIMH . . . . Effective December 10, Richard Nakamura, Deputy Director at the National Institute of Mental Health, got the nod to serve as Acting Director. A neuroscientist who studies non-human primates to understand cognitive process in the brain, Nakamura’s BA, MA, and PhD are in psychology. At NIMH since 1976, he has played important roles in review and support of training programs for underrepresented minorities— including the ASA’s Minority Fellowship Program supported by NIMH.

  • OBSSR’s Kington Fills Interim Post at NIAAA . . . . On January 1, Raynard Kington, Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) became Acting Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Kington continues as Director of OBSSR while serving as Acting Director of NIAAA, but sociologist Virginia Cain, Deputy Director, will run OBSSR day-to-day.

  • Science Advisor Marburger Met with Social/Behavioral Sciences . . . . John Marburger, newly confirmed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), met with representatives of the social and behavioral science societies on December 10. He focused on the potential contributions for social science on issues relating to September 11 and in international affairs, including understanding other cultures. Not unexpectedly, he also emphasized the priority on education and workforce/education issues for the administration.

  • NRC Releases Report on Scientific Research in Education . . . . On November 29, the National Research Council issued a prepublication copy of Scientific Inquiry in Education. The focus of a follow-up workshop on January 10, the report addresses the need for scientifically based education research to inform policy and practice and the implications for change at the Office of Educational Research Improvement (OERI). The report can matter for OERI, with reauthorization coming up this year. A prepublication copy is available without charge at

  • Gates to Give 2002 Jefferson Lecture in March. . . . The National Endowment for the Humanities announced that Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, will deliver the Jefferson Lecture in Humanities on March 22, 2002. The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) will lead Jefferson Day events on March 21-22 with training in advocacy on March 21 and Congressional visits and briefings addressed to enhanced research support on March 22. ASA is a member of the NHA Board and also a co-sponsor of Jefferson Day.