About

I am an associate professor of sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY, working at the intersection of economic sociology, the sociology of knowledge, and science & technology studies. Most of my work focuses on recent U.S. history (1960s to 1980s) and emphasizes the role of public policy. In 2013-14 I am the Richard B. Fisher Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, NJ.

Some things I am interested in: how we decide what society’s relationship to the economy will be, attempts (successful and failed) to rationalize organizations and public policy, what happened to the U.S. in the 1970s, where higher education has been and is going, how sociotechnical tools are implemented and have effects.

My first book, Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine, was published in 2012 by Princeton University Press. It received the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association, and the Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship and the Pierre Bourdieu Award from American Sociological Association (from the Organizations, Occupations and Work and Sociology of Education sections).

My current book project, tentatively titled Thinking Like an Economist: The Normative Impact of a Positive Discipline on U.S. Public Policy, looks at the role played by experts, particularly economists, in U.S. public policy. Focusing on three policy domains — antitrust policy, antipoverty policy, and science & technology policy — it looks at the normative, as well as positive, consequences of expert knowledge, and explores the multiple paths through which experts have intended and unintended consequences.

You can email me at epberman@albany.edu.