ISERP Launches Center for Pandemic Research

May_Chanikran / Shutterstock

Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), directed by historian Matthew Connelly ’90CC and sociologist Thomas DiPrete ’78GSAS, has launched a new Center for Pandemic Research to support a wide range of scholarly investigations into the social, economic, and cultural ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, with applications to future pandemics. 

“A lot of the most important problems arising out of the pandemic demand social-science research into such topics as how people process public-health information and why the virus is having very different impacts on different communities,” says Connelly. “We created this center to support the most important and innovative new research.”

A few of the Columbia projects now receiving support from the center include interdisciplinary studies of anti-Chinese sentiment on social media, the pandemic’s impact on the lives of service-sector workers, and the challenges faced by journalists in accessing reliable information about the crisis. 

A key focus of the new center, Connelly says, is supporting undergraduate and graduate research through seed grants.