This, That, and The Other: Three Remarks on the Sociology of Creativity [Wed. July 20]

This talk will review some of my current research on creativity in science and art:

1. Sociometric sensors promise to measure social interactions quantitatively, precisely, and unobtrusively. I’ll discuss a few findings from a pilot study of small group collaborations at two synthesis centers.

2. Path-breaking groups of artists and scientists that launch major artistic and intellectual movements share much in common, but also differ markedly along some social dimensions due to key differences between the fields of art and science. I’ll discuss some of these similarities and differences in relation to the specific character of these fields.

3. How theory groups die: I’ll discuss the social forces that cause the small groups that create new scientific paradigms to disintegrate, socially and creatively.


Dr. John N. Parker
Barrett, The Honors College
Arizona State University
john.parker at

Barriers to Diversity in Higher Education and the Promise of Diverse Scientific Teams [Wednesday, Jan 27]

This Wednesday’s roundtable will be led by Dr. Barbara Endemaño Walker and Professor Kyle Lewis from UCSB.

The Center for Research, Excellence and Diversity in Team Science (CREDITS) at UCSB is an integrated research and training program to increase and enhance the capacity and effectiveness of transdisciplinary scientific teams in California.  Diversity on teams is known to have positive effects on creativity, innovation, and productivity.  Apart from its contribution to scientific breakthroughs and grand challenge problems, collaborative transdisciplinary science – “Team Science” – has beneficial impacts on individual research careers.  Team Science projects garner more funding, and yield greater publication productivity and higher impact publications.  Despite the benefits of diversity to teams, women and URM scientists are less likely to participate in team science collaborations, and their participation in these networks develops later in their careers.  In this presentation we will provide an overview of key interventions to increase the broader participation of women and URM faculty in higher education, and summarize the research on diversity and collective intelligence.

Kyle Lewis Pic
Kyle Lewis
Professor of Technology Management
College of Engineering, UCSB

Barbara Endemaño Walker
Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Diversity Initiatives /
Director of Research Development for the Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts
Office of Research, UCSB


Kyle Lewis is Professor of Technology Management in the College of Engineering. She holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, an MS in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie-Mellon University, and degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Duke University. She joined the faculty of UCSB in the Fall of 2014. Prior to joining UCSB, Dr. Lewis was a tenured professor at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Lewis’ research examines how organizations leverage individual and collective knowledge. She examines the performance of teams, especially those teams engaged in knowledge work such as professional services, new product development, and project-based tasks. She has published articles in the top journals in the field of Management, including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Management Science, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Group Dynamics. Dr. Lewis served as Division Chair in the Academy of Management (Managerial and Organization Cognition Division) and was a past senior editor for Organization Science.


Barbara Louise Endemaño Walker is the Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Diversity Initiatives, and the Director of Research Development for the Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts in the Office of Research at UC Santa Barbara. Walker’s research on the gendered political ecology of marine resources in Ghana, French Polynesia, and California has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and NOAA Sea Grant, among others. Her current research programs examine a) the intersections of team science and broadening participation in STEM and higher education, and b) alternative food networks among US fishing communities. Her work has been published in the Professional Geographer; Gender Place and Culture; Society and Natural Resources; PLOS ONE; and the Journal of Geography and Higher Education among others. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Geography from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Anthropology and African Studies from UCLA.


Transitions of social-ecological subsistence systems in the Arctic

In this round-table, I will discuss how global change are transforming small-scale, native, resource-dependent communities in the Arctic. These social-ecological systems are increasingly exposed to global warming, industrial development and globalization, which subsequently alter the local SES dynamics. Subsistence use of fish and wildlife is a cornerstone in these communities. This traditional utilization of natural resources are commonly assumed to be donor-controlled, in which the users do not control the resource level but adapt to the fluctuating availability of fish and wildlife. A combination of increased harvest efficiency through the introduction of new technology, increased resource demand through population increase and commercialization, and reduced resource stocks by exogenous pressures such as climate change, is likely to increase the pressure on the stocks of fish and wildlife. The result could be a transition of the SES from a provisioning action situation, where the collective challenge is to secure subsistence on a local scale, to an appropriation action situation where the collective challenge is to avoid overuse of a common-pool resource on the scale of the resource stock. We applied cross-national comparison of Arctic Alaska, Canada and Greenland, synthesized secondary data from documents, official statistics and grey and scientific literature, and asked: What are the evidence for SES transitions in the Arctic? Which exogenous pressures are associated with transitions, and what conditions might prevent transitions? How does the transitions change the focus and sustainability challenges faced by the governance systems?

Although the results I will present are from the Arctic, I hope the talk will stimulate a more general discussion on how global change might transform local social-ecological systems.

Dr Per Fauchald

NCEAS visiting scientist

Senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research


July 1: Emotions in Scientific Work and Scientific Creativity

The sociology of emotions and the sociology of science arose concurrently (circa 1975-present), but connections between these subfields have been rare. Existing research pleads for greater integration and contextualization. This talk will synthesize and critically assess eight decades of research on emotional aspects of science. Taken together, extant literature indicates that emotions pervade science as a practice, profession and social institution. Emotions support the ability to perceive and observe empirical patterns and relationships, and to make specific types of knowledge claims. They are elemental facets of scientists’ career evaluations and work life, and their influence on the research process informs and consequentially impacts the form and content of scientific knowledge. Collective emotional states and affective relationships are also essential for scientific collaboration and for fomenting large-scale collective action in the form of scientific social movements. Finally, emotions gave original impetus to science as a distinctive social institution, and continue to support it by acting as agents of social control in the scientific community. Overall, research on emotions and science is rapidly emerging as a generative area of research in its own right, and has the potential to significantly advance general sociology.

Dr. John Parker

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