Tom W. Smith
Tom W. Smith is a nationally
recognized expert in survey research specializing in the study of social
change and survey methodology. Since 1980 he has been co-principal investigator
of the National Data Program for the Social Sciences and director of its
General Social Survey (GSS). This is the largest and longest-term project
supported by the Sociology program of the National Science Foundation.
The mission of the GSS is to monitor changes and consistencies in American
society and to develop models to explain change (or stability).
He is also co-founder and
Secretary General (1997-2000) of the International Social Survey Program
(ISSP). The ISSP is the largest cross-national collaboration in the social
sciences. It has conducted an international survey annually since 1985
and currently has 31 nations as members.
Smith has authored over 300
scholarly papers. His work in the social change area includes both wide-ranging
studies that integrate trends across many different topics, such as Trends
in Public Opinion: A Compendium of Survey Data (1989), "Liberal and
Conservative Trends in the United States Since World War II," Public
Opinion Quarterly (1990), and "Is There Real Opinion Change?," International
Journal of Public Opinion Research (1994), and specialized studies
on such matters as public attitudes towards the most important national
problem, crime and punishment, ethnic and racial relations, governmental
spending priorities, and sexual behavior.
He has also written on virtually
every aspect of survey methods including non-response, question wording,
nonattitudes, order and context, recall, respondent understanding, and
test/retest reliability. He has organized an extensive program of data
quality assurance and methodological analysis on the GSS and edits the
GSS Methodological Report series which contains 89 papers.
Smith has taught at Purdue
University and Northwestern University, and in Sociology and Political
Science at the University of Chicago.
Smith has served on the National
Academy of Sciences' Panel on Survey Measurement of Subjective Phenomena,
the Board of Directors of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research,
the National Science Foundation's Committee on Data Sharing in the Social
Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Subcommittee
on Monitoring the AIDS Epidemic. He was awarded the 1994 Worcester Prize
by the World Association for Public Opinion Research for the best article
on public opinion. He currently is on the editorial boards of the Journal
of Sex Research, The Public Perspective, and the International
Journal of Public Opinion Research, and is former editor of the Poll
Trends section of Public Opinion Quarterly. A long-time member of
the American Association for Public Opinion Research, he has served as
Secretary-Treasurer, Standards Chairman, and Counsellor-at-large.
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