Joel Best

Feb. 19: Alison Lecture

Joel Best to deliver Francis Alison inaugural lecture


5:27 p.m., Feb. 11, 2013--Joel G. Best, professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, will present his Francis Alison Inaugural Lecture, "The Student Loan Messes: Why Definitions of Social Problems Matter," at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts.

Last May, Best was named recipient of the 2012 Francis Alison Faculty Award, UD's highest faculty honor. 

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Widely regarded as the nation's leading scholar in understanding the social construction of social problems, Best is the author of 20 books, three of them now in second editions and six of them translated into Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean or Spanish. 

His two most recent books --The Stupidity Epidemic and Everyone's a Winner -- have respectively examined warnings about education and school quality and the proliferation of awards and honors in contemporary America. 

Three of his books examine the role of statistics in social problems rhetoric: Damned Lies and Statistics, More Damned Lies and Statistics, and Stat-Spotting

In addition to his scholarship, he has a strong history of mentorship, including the supervision of doctoral students, several of whom have written award-winning dissertations. 

Best joined the UD faculty in 1999 and chaired the department until 2006. 

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, he earned his master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a master's degree in American history from the University of Minnesota. 

A reception will follow Best's lecture. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to by Feb. 13. 

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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