University of Pittsburgh
February 15, 2012

Harvard Expert on “The Neighborhood Effect” to Speak at Pitt Feb. 22

Social sciences professor Robert Sampson will address inequality in the American city

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926


PITTSBURGH—Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University, will deliver a free public lecture at noon Feb. 22 titled “Inequality in the American City: Implications of ‘The Neighborhood Effect.’” The lecture will be held at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), School of Social Work Conference Center, 20th floor, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 

The talk is part of the Reed Smith Spring 2012 Speaker Series. Registration is not required; lunch will be provided. For more information, call 412-624-7382 or visit

Sampson, who also is director of the social sciences program at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, has researched the areas of crime, disorder, and the effects of neighborhoods on the social structure of the city. His latest book, Great American City; Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect (University of Chicago Press, 2012), is the culmination of more than a decade of research based on a project titled “Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods,” for which Sampson served as scientific director. During his research, Sampson discovered that neighborhoods influence a wide array of social phenomena, including crime, health, civic engagement, home foreclosures, teen births, altruism, and immigration.

Sampson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He was elected president of the American Society of Criminology for 2011-2012, and he and his colleague John Laub received the 2011 Stockholm Prize in Criminology. Prior to his current position at Harvard, he was chair of the school’s Department of Sociology and, before that, taught at the University of Chicago for 12 years.

CRSP’s annual Reed Smith Spring Speaker Series provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and members of the community to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest.





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