« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

May 23, 2006

Do you have your Blog set up on your Wiki?

Ever wonder what a Blog (aka Weblog) or Wiki is? Or how it might benefit your research? Or your lab?

IRiSS is able to setup Weblogs for you and or your lab to make regular postings in a 'lab diary' fashion that can be restricted to your lab users, or can be a conduit of information to the general public. Similarly, wiki web sites allow research labs to have a web presence where authorized readers can actually make updates and upload content without any knowledge of web programming or specialized software beyond a browser. Regular visitors simply see a web page.

If you're curious about these new technologies and how they may be beneficial to your research, talk to Vijoy Abraham (vijoy@stanford.edu) at IRISS to help set you up with these services.

Posted by vijoy at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2006

American National Elections Studies

NSF Grant: Jon Krosnick (Stanford) and Arthur Lupia (Michigan), principal investigators

Why do Americans vote as they do on Election Day? Answering this question illuminates some of the most fundamental aspects of American politics in particular and of democracy more generally. To understand election outcomes is to understand the relationship between rulers and ruled, governors and governed, leaders and followers, representatives and constituents in democratic nations. The effects of election outcomes on power relationships, public policy, and citizens’ quality of life are widely felt and long lasting.

A full account of why Americans vote as they do in any election requires an analysis done at many levels and with reference to many causal factors. The story must include references to historic events unfolding around the world, the activities of organizations such as political parties and labor unions, shifts in the U.S. economy, choices made by the mass media, allocations of advertising dollars by campaign strategists, and much more.

And indeed, there is no shortage of such accounts. Media pundits begin to offer explanations on the airwaves and in print even before the polls close. The victorious and defeated candidates propose their own stories of the forces at work. Ordinary citizens in coffee shops and cafés around the country make sense of these historic moments in more personal ways, while observers in other nations apply their own meanings to these events.

The mission of the American National Election Studies (ANES) is to inform explanations of election outcomes and to enrich and deepen the theoretical tools developed, refined, and tested by social scientists for the purpose of understanding collective decision-making and the nature of modern governance. ANES serves this mission by providing researchers with a view of the political world through the eyes of ordinary citizens. Such data are critical, because, in the end, these people’s actions determine electoral outcomes. One candidate’s victory and others’ defeats are the cumulative results of people pulling levers, coloring in empty ovals, punching out chads, drawing connections between pairs of adjacent horizontal lines, or deciding to stay at home instead. To understand election results, we must explain what happened in the minds of these actors, describing what propelled them down the behavioral paths they chose. The impact of all forces at work, forces that range from images in advertisements to shifts in the unemployment rate and beyond, ultimately passed through the hands that pulled, colored, punched, drew, or abstained.

With the help of ANES, social scientists have been in this business for over 50 years. And with each passing year of scholarship, the portraits and profiles they offer are richer, more detailed, and more accurate. With new discoveries, however, come new questions about the causes and consequences of electoral behaviors. Therefore, we write seeking support to continue the ANES mission for the next four years, but in new and better ways than ever before.

Posted by cthomsen at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2006

Expanded Access to U.S. Census Microdata

Ritch Milby, Administrator and Demographer from the California Census Research Data Center, will be visiting at IRiSS from June through September, meeting with faculty to discuss access to microdata available to the academic research community. Faculty who would like individual appointments or to attend a one-hour workshop should send email to: cthomsen@Stanford.edu

IRiSS is exploring the opportunity to open a regional data center at Stanford.

Posted by cthomsen at 04:03 PM

Social Science Highlights Featured in the H&S Annual Report

The recently released annual report from the School of Humanities and Sciences features an impressive selection of highlights from the social science research community-- literally an "A" to "Z" listing of faculty awards and accomplishments.

The report also chronicles the startup of IRiSS. Under the heading of "New Institute Tackles Society’s Toughest Issues", the publication features three of the first research initiatives at the Institute. Electronic copies of the annual report are available at:


Posted by cthomsen at 04:02 PM

Last Debate in CPI Inequality Series

Tuesday, May 30 at 2:15 p.m.

"Gender Inequality: Where Are We Going and What is to be Done?" is the topic of the last program in the Inequality Debate series. Professors Trond Peterson (UC Berkeley) and Cecilia Ridgeway (Stanford) will tackle questions such as "What is the likely future of gender inequality?" and "What types of social policy should be devised to increase gender equality." The program, organized by the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality (CPI), is open to the public.

Location is Room 201 in the Hewlett Teaching Center.

Posted by cthomsen at 03:56 PM

May 01, 2006

Larry Bobo elected to academy of arts and sciences

Lawrence D. Bobo, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, is an authority on race, ethnicity and social inequality. A professor of sociology, Bobo joined the Stanford faculty from Harvard University in 2005. He directs the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Program in African and African American Studies, and is currently conducting a study of race, crime and public opinion in the United States.

Bobo is a founding editor of the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, co-author of Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations (1997), senior editor of Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles (2000) and co-editor of Racialized Politics: The Debate on Racism in America (2000). Bobo was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. He earned a doctorate in sociology at the University of Michigan in 1984.

Eight scholars elected to academy of arts and sciences

Posted by vijoy at 01:02 PM