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SIU’s Morton-Kenney lecture to focus on importance of interaction, debate

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University Communications and Marketing
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CARBONDALE, Ill. — Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, a professor at The Ohio State University and one of the leading political scientists in the country, will discuss the “importance of active interaction, debate and learning from each other across disciplines and perspectives” when she presents the Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture on Tuesday, April 25, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box-Steffensmeier, the Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science, professor of sociology and Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State, will present “Engagement and Pluralism: Paths for Making a Difference” at 6 p.m. in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The free, public lecture is hosted by the political science program in the School of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology within the College of Liberal Arts and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Box-Steffensmeier argues that people “need to undertake the challenges arising from engagement and pluralism to ensure a healthy, vibrant disciplinary future and for a democracy that thrives.”

“I consciously extend the term ‘engagement’ to apply not only to understanding across subdisciplines and different grounds of knowledge, but also to addressing research to the needs of society,” she said. “There are golden opportunities centered on the benefits of a more open, rigorous and contentious science that can be maximized through focused engagement around methodologies and methods.”

Award-winning research

In 2017, she was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Box-Steffensmeier recently served as president of the American Political Science Association and as president of the Midwest Political Science Association and Political Methodology Society.

“This event is of interest to anyone who thinks science needs a larger role in our public discourse,” J. Tobin Grant, professor of political science and director of the School of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology, said. “Dr. Box-Steffensmeier is a leading voice on how we can expand the role of science in our society.”She was an inaugural Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology. She has twice received the Gosnell Award for the best work in political methodology and the Emerging Scholar Award of the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior Section of the American Political Science Association in 2001. The Box-Steffensmeier Graduate Student Award, given annually by the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is named after her in recognition of her contributions in political methodology and her support of women in the field.

Box-Steffensmeier earned her doctorate at the University of Texas Austin and bachelor’s degree in mathematics and political science from Coe College.

The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture Series is presented in the spring and fall of each academic year. The late Jerome Mileur, an SIU alumnus, established the series in 1995 in honor of two of his political science professors — Ward Morton and David Kenney — who inspired him as a student. Originally from Murphysboro, Mileur was a professor emeritus in political science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

“The Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture Series is one of the premier lecture series organized by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute,” John Shaw, institute director, said. “We are very proud of our ability to bring leading scholars and practitioners to SIU Carbondale for important lectures and policy discussions.”

For more information, contact the School of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology at sapss@siu.edu or 618-453-3166.


Pete Rosenbery — arts and design, architecture, automotive and aviation, humanities, journalism and mass communications, law, public policy, social sciences.

SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
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