Two Sociologists Win Awards

Sociology professors William Gamson and Diane Vaughan have been honored for outstanding scholarship on issues of social concern.

Gamson has received a Lifetime Career Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association for his contributions to the study of war and peace. The Society for Social Studies of Science awarded Vaughan the 1998 Rachel Carson Prize for her 1996 book, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA .

Gamson is a former chairman of the War and Peace Section of the American Sociological Association, and as a University of Michigan faculty member from 1962-82 was active in the Center for Conflict Resolution, an organization exploring alternative resolutions to international conflicts. Since coming to Boston College in 1982, Gamson has studied the role of mass media in the process of social change.

Named for the author of the groundbreaking book Silent Spring , the Rachel Carson Prize is annually awarded by the Society for Social Studies of Science to recognize a new book of outstanding social and political significance. In The Challenger Launch Decision , Vaughan depicted how the organizational culture of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration led to the Challenger space shuttle tragedy.

"I'm specifically honored to have the award because it's named in honor of Rachel Carson's work," said Vaughan.

- Mark Sullivan

Return to Jan. 15 menu

Return to Chronicle home page