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Scientists in International Context

Principal Investigators

Principal Investigator

Elaine Howard Ecklund

Elaine Howard Ecklund, Ph.D., is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Rice University and a Rice Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy. Ecklund’s research focuses on how individuals develop cognitive schema that are at odds with institutions that constrain them, addressing this phenomenon in the areas of religion, immigration, science, and gender. Ecklund has received four million dollars in grants and awards to study these topics and has translated these resources into peer-reviewed research articles, two books with Oxford University Press, and two forthcoming books with New York University Press and Oxford University Press. Her most recent book, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think, was chosen by Times Higher Education as an international book of the week and named a book of the year on religion by the Huffington Post. Her research has been cited over 1,200 times in local, national, and international news media, including USA Today, Nature, the Wall Street Journal, and Xinhua News. Ecklund received a Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University.

Co-Principal Investigators

Steven W. Lewis

Steven W. Lewis, Ph.D., is the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow at the Baker Institute and a professor in the practice and associate director of the Rice University Chao Center for Asian Studies. His research explores the growth of a transnational Chinese middle class; the influence of advertisements in new public spaces in Chinese cities; the development of privatization experiments in China’s localities; and the reform of China’s energy policies. Through the Transnational China Project, Lewis has organized research conferences with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He has also served as an adviser to the Science Collaboration across Borders initiative and as the chief liaison between the Baker Institute, the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, and the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations. Lewis is an associate fellow of Asia Society International, an editorial board member of Asia Policy and an academic adviser to the U.S.-China Working Group of the U.S. House of Representatives. He received a Ph.D. in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Kirstin R.W. Matthews

Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Ph.D., is a fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute. She is also a lecturer in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Rice University. Her research focuses on the intersection of traditional biomedical research and public policy, and is published both through the Baker Institute and in peer-reviewed journals. Current projects include the Baker Institute International Stem Cell Policy Program and the Civic Scientist Lecture Series and Outreach Program. Matthews came to Rice University as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a research assistant at the Baker Institute in 2003, and has a B.A. in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.