The 2011 President's Book Award Winner
(Conferred annually by the Social Science History Association for the best first book manuscript in the interdisciplinary field of social science history)
Elizabeth Popp Berman
Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine
The President’s Book Award Committee this year included last year’s winner, Ho-fung Hung, along with Cedric de Leon, Kimberley Johnson, and Leslie Page Moch. The committee had a difficult job because the entries were so good – each had distinct merits and a case for the prize.
The winner was Elizabeth Popp Berman, whose Ph.D. is from Berkeley and who is currently working in the Department of Sociology at SUNY Albany. Princeton will publish her book in early 2012, Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine.
In this book, Berman makes the straightforward argument that the spread of market logic in academic science is rooted in policies that are themselves anchored in the idea that technological innovation drives the economy. She makes the case tracing practices in biotechnology, patenting, and University-Industry Research Centers, drawing on a wide range of data sources from industry, legislative initiatives and government expenditures. She argues that the logic of the market is not the market itself, but rather policy that is only partly related to market forces. This tightly argues and well-substantiated study is marked by the interdisciplinarity of history and sociology, keys to the Presidents Book Award.
In another setting, several years ago next year’s SSHA president Bill Sewell remarked that the history of capitalism will see fine new work in the coming decade, and this study knitting the history of capitalism to the university is one example. And so the committee offers its congratulations to Elizabeth Popp Berman!