Photo of Hal Winsborough
Hal Winsborough

Hal Winsborough

2005 Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences

Hal Winsborough is one of the great institution-builders of the social sciences. He was one of the key figures behind the growth and development of the Population Studies Center at Duke University, the Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE) at the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin Survey Center.

From the outset Hal recognized the importance of access to computing infrastructure. After obtaining one of the first NICHD population center infrastructure grants in 1971, Hal purchased a small mainframe computer. He then organized a computing cooperative at CDE that provided free access to all researchers affiliated with the center, with equal priority given to students and faculty alike. In addition, Hal was among the earliest people to recognize and exploit the potential of the 1960 and 1970 public use microdata samples.

As an ICPSR council chair and Interim Director between 1998 and 2001, Hal orchestrated critical changes that had profound consequences for the future of the organization and for social science infrastructure generally. Most importantly, he launched a battle of independence of ICPSR from the Center for Political Studies, which gave ICPSR much greater influence within ISR.