SBE-Funded Researchers Receive “Genius” Grants

Two of the recipients of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (the so-called “genius” grants) are social scientists whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The fellowship is awarded to individuals in any field “who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Fellows receive a no-strings-attached cash prize to pursue their work as they see fit.

Matthew Desmond is an urban sociologist at Harvard University whose work focuses on “the impact of eviction on poor families and the role of housing policy in sustaining poverty and racial inequality in large American cities.” He is the lead investigator on an SBE-funded research project, “Global Urbanization and Housing Affordability: Poverty, Property, and the City.” MIT economist Heidi Williams conducts research on the “causes and consequences of innovation in health care markets.” She is the recipient of an SBE CAREER award, “Empirical Studies of Innovation in Health Care Markets.”

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