046: The sociology of science and interdisciplinarity with John Parker

In this episode Michael spoke with John Parker. John is a sociologist of science and a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) within its division of social and economic sciences. John and Michael spoke about John’s experience at the NSF and the importance of mentorship and accumulative advantage in science, which challenge the way we think about “who is good” in a field, and how we judge this as a forced decision. John also discussed his work on “coherent groups” such as the Resilience Alliance (https://www.resalliance.org/), which he has studied at length. Finally, John and Michael discussed the too-often invisible work done by many people to support the outcomes that a much smaller number of individuals receive credit for. The implications of this work are far-reaching for all scientists as we struggle with the challenges of self-reinforcing power and privilege, increasing inequalities, and the collective-action problems we face when we try to produce public goods.

John’s website and google scholar pages: