National Academy of Medicine Elects 100 New Members

Oct 21, 2019 | News

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) today announced the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Peter S. Bearman, Jonathan R. Cole Professor of the Social Sciences, Columbia University, New York City.  For being one of two original designers of the influential Adolescent Health Study, and making critically important discoveries concerning the influence of social networks on sexually transmitted disease and the rise of autism diagnoses.

Trust, Cooperation, and Collective Action in Diverse Communities

This project will investigate how people view and respond to racial/ethnic diversity in their communities. An underlying premise is that people may respond to diversity differently depending on the specific racial/ethnic groups that make up that diversity. The first part of the project will examine how people from different racial/ethnic backgrounds define diversity, followed by distinguishing heterogeneity from the share of non-Whites in a community. The second part asks whether and how people learn from past cross-racial interactions and become trusting toward strangers from different racial/ethnic backgrounds. The third part of this project studies neighborhoods in a large urban city where diversity functions well, i.e., where neighbors have repeatedly organized to achieve common goals, despite racial/ethnic differences between them. In this phase of the research, the project investigates the mechanisms, such as information sharing and sanctioning, that successfully promote cooperation between people from different backgrounds. The project will create a research practicum for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students that will focus on experimental research methods. The project will also continue and expand upon an ongoing initiative that has created an experimental design workshop. This workshop brings together experimental social scientists from across the university to exchange ideas and receive feedback on original experimental research. A final educational initiative will involve a weeklong summer school on the topic of experiments in the social sciences, which will be open to Ph.D. students from several local universities. The project will provide insights useful in formulating and implementing policies such as those concerning affirmative action, immigration and residential integration.

This project will first clarify the meaning of diversity and the burden-of-proof for documenting the effects of diversity. Second, it will analyze how members of racial/ethnic minority groups, not just Whites, react to diversity. Third, it will bring innovative experimental methods to bear on questions of longstanding sociological interest. To shed light on understandings of diversity, the first part of this project relies on a conjoint experiment with a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, including strategic oversamples of non-Whites. A second part involves a public goods game where participants are assigned to heterogeneous groups, homogeneously White groups, or homogeneously non-White groups. The goal is to understand how people respond not just to diversity, but also to the share of specific racial/ethnic groups. The third part involves recruiting White and non-White residents of diverse and homogeneous urban neighborhoods. These participants will participate in an online survey with behavioral game components. The behavioral games capture altruism, trust, and cooperativeness toward both in-group and out-group members. They also allow the researcher to address social desirability bias, to observe real-stakes behavior, to disentangle micro-level motivations and mechanisms, and to clarify the scope conditions around hypotheses. Taken together, this project will bring clarity to the growing but inconclusive social scientific literature on racial/ethnic diversity, both by informing theories of diversity and by producing new empirical findings regarding intergroup relations in diverse communities.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Columbia University and the Obama Foundation are pleased to announce that the Columbia Center for Oral History Research has been selected to produce the official oral history of the presidency of Barack Obama (CC '83). This project will provide a comprehensive, enduring record of the decisions, actions, and effects of his historic terms in office. The University of Hawaiʻi and the University of Chicago will partner with Columbia in this project. The University of Hawaiʻi will focus on President Obama’s early life, and the University of Chicago will concentrate on the Obamas’ lives in Chicago.  

“The pride we feel in counting President Obama as an alumnus involves much more than the recognition of his time as a student here many years ago. This is a relationship built on shared values and interests that is producing public spirited projects of enormous, even transformative, potential at Columbia,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “The latest venture will capitalize on the University’s unsurpassed talent for assembling oral history and will, I am sure, create an invaluable resource for understanding an historic presidency.”

A collaborative project of sociology MA students, Dispatches from the Field is a series of chapbooks designed to engage readers directly with qualitative research data. This year’s edition includes a series of reflections that refer to the American Dream, or rather, a set of differing American Dreams and their elusive promises. 

The aim of this lecture (and the edited volume from which it springs) is to show what Gulf cities can substantively teach: how world places connect to one another through new patterns of real estate investment, design, and human migration. 

Please join colleagues and friends of Prof. Priscilla P. Ferguson  to celebrate her life and scholarship. 

Hosted by the NYU Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Multimedia artist Umberto Crenca is the founding artistic director of AS220, a nonprofit arts organization that serves as a national model for arts and culture-based community building and urban renewal. Crenca will provide an overview of the success and relevance of AS220 and will discuss his “compost theory” of arts and culture: a means to an end or a means to a means? This theory is about creating nurturing environments that create opportunities where anyone can realize their full creative potential without trying to predict outcomes.


 In their recenlty published ASR article, School-to-Work Linkages, Education Mismatches, and Labor Market OutcomesProf. DiPrete, Christina Ciocca, and co-authors Thijs Bol and Herman G. van de Werfhorst, find that workers have higher earnings when they are in occupations that match their educational level and field of study, but the size of this earnings boost depends on the clarity and strength of the pathway between their educational credential and the labor market.

Prof. Shamus Khan writes that kids from rich families — not just famous ones — have all sorts of advantages in applying to school in this Washignton Post op-ed, The college admissions game is rigged. Arresting cheaters won’t change that.

PhD candidate Joss Taylor Greene's paper "Categorical Expressions: How
Racialized Gender Regulation Reproduces Reentry Hardship" was published
this week in Social Problems.

Moses Adams, Sociology Ph.D. Candidate discusses midterm elections in his Washington Post opinion editorial.

Full article here.   


Alondra Nelson, professor of sociology and president of the Social Science Research Council, discusses negotiating access to Facebook and building a new scholarly infrastructure with The Chronicle.

In Working for Respect, Adam Reich and Peter Bearman examine how workers make sense of their jobs at places like Walmart in order to consider the nature of contemporary low-wage work, as well as the obstacles and opportunities such workplaces present as sites of struggle for social and economic justice. They describe the life experiences that lead workers to Walmart and analyze the dynamics of the shop floor. 


Congratulations to Paco on this timely publication offering a careful look at Tijuana's housing abandoment  crisis. Through a mixed-methods investigation, he explores the variation in explanations for housing abandonment.