Columbia University Arts & Sciences Announces Launch of INCITE

New York, NY — Columbia University Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce the launch of a new center, the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE).

The mission of INCITE is to cultivate public intelligence about socially and culturally vital ideas that can be advanced by research, education, and conversation at the interdisciplinary seams that the social sciences share with the humanities and with the life and behavioral sciences.

INCITE culminates over a decade’s work of creating multi-disciplinary education, training and research initiatives. It assumes all the education and training initiatives of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences, including the Mellon Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellows Program, the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program and the Oral History Master of Arts.

“For the past decade Arts & Sciences has launched several collaborative research and education programs, centered around core priorities of the University, that all share a commitment to integrating the strengths of a variety of disciplines,” said Nicholas Dirks, executive vice president of Arts and Sciences. “By bringing some of these initiatives together under a united vision, we believe INCITE will become an important new site for innovative ideas that will lead to breakthroughs in knowledge and social engagement.”

The Center also catalyzes and oversees a variety of research initiatives. It houses the continuing projects on Understanding Autism and on Homelessness, and initiates  a collaborative research project to digitize and analyze New York Philharmonic subscriber roles over time to reveal a portrait of the role of the Philharmonic in the life of New York City. This project is overseen by Sociology Professor Shamus Khan and is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“The Philharmonic project is just one example of the Center’s expansive and innovative research activities. It reflects our commitment to the belief that, by bringing together appropriate methods and knowledge from across the humanities, social sciences and sciences, we can advance public intelligence through collective research and conversation, especially in emerging fields such as digital humanities” said INCITE Director Peter Bearman.

INCITE descends directly from the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences and the Bureau for Applied Social Research, established by Paul F. Lazarsfeld. To honor his legacy and to foster conversations that span substantive domains, INCITE has launched the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series. This series features public lectures and ongoing workshops that embody and honor Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches to develop knowledge.