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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


SOCIOLOGIST TO DISCUSS HOW BIOTECHNOLOGY FIELD HAS AFFECTED BUSINESS

Walter Powell, professor of education and director, Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research at Stanford University, will discuss "The Coevolution of Science and Commerce: Knowledge Networks in the Biotechnology Field" at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, in the Vollum lounge at Reed College. The lecture, which is sponsored by the Reed sociology department, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503/777-7755.

Powell has made fundamental contributions to organizational sociology, institutional analysis, and the sociology of science. His research on network forms of organization in the biotechnology industry has expanded our conceptual categories of the structure of industry beyond markets, firms, and states. This work has also been shedding new light on the conditions for innovation and learning in the American economy. His research has produced new analyses of the changing structure of the biosciences and the scientific enterprise, transformations in university-industry relations, and change in the nature of the firm in the 21st century.

He is also well known for his leading role in developing the sociological branch of the new institutionalism. His 1983 article with Paul DiMaggio, "The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields," has been the most cited article in sociology for a number of the last few years. And their 1991 edited volume, The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, has become the touchstone for new institutionalist research across the social sciences. Powell, an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute, has also done research on the publishing and radio industries, as well as analyses of how different academic disciplines reward different forms of publication.