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Smelser, Neil

Future historians will write about Neil Smelser (b. 1930) as an iconic figure in twentieth-century sociology's second half. Smelser has had an extraordinarily active career, not only as scholar but as teacher and organizational leader. His impressive and varied performances as organizational leader are perhaps less well known, but they speak equally clearly of scholarly power exercised in a more political manner. His roles have included adviser to a string of University of California chancellors and presidents; referee of the nation's most significant scientific training and funding programs, from NSF (National Science Foundation) to the departments of leading universities; organizer of the Handbook of Sociology and the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences; and director of the Center for Advanced Study in the ...

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