The Gwen Iding Brogden Distinguished Lecturer

Thomas D. Cook, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology, Psychology, Education and Social Policy
Joan and Serepta Harrison Chair in Ethics and Justice
Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University
View CV and Bio

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For our 20th Anniversary, we opened with one of the most influential social scientists in the nation. The annual research conference was conceptualized to build an empirical foundation for implementing effectives systems of care. At this juncture, in the context of  two decades of inquiry, our speaker's views on research methods can help refine the blueprint, and frame best practice for the field.

Thomas Cook's early groundbreaking work in experimental design revolutionized how we conduct research on social issues. Now, as a national spokesman for rigorous  study design and analysis in the social and behavioral sciences, his work instructs today's researchers and evaluators on a full range of methodologies across the continuum of arenas for societal change.

Cook is interested in methods for inferring causation, and through this interest he examines issues in evaluation and research, particularly pertaining to community health and education. He has authored or edited several books on these topics, including Quasi-Experimentation Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings, Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Evaluation Research, and The Foundations of Evaluation Theory. He is also interested in understanding how individual and institutional factors combine to help some adolescents successfully navigate both middle class and ghetto worlds.

Cook has written or edited ten books and published numerous articles and book chapters. He received the Myrdal Prize for Science from the Evaluation Research Society in 1982, the Donald Campbell Prize for Innovative Methodology from the Policy Sciences Organization in 1988, and the Distinguished Scientist Award of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association in 1997. He is a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and a member of its Committee on the Future of Work. Cook was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 2000 and was inducted as the Margaret Mead Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in April 2003.  He serves as a National Fellow for the Inequality ad Social Policy Program of Harvards' Kennedy School of Government, He holds a B.A. from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.