Video: ICPSR Director Margaret Levenstein announces #IMLSmedals win


ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN  (May 7, 2019) – Thank you all for joining us today. We are incredibly honored to receive the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute for Museum and Library Service.  Our receipt of this recognition is a tribute to the vision of our founder, Warren Miller, and the leadership of the Institute for Social Research and the Survey Research Center, of which we were then a part, and our 22 founding members.  That vision was about creating fair and transparent data about political, social, and economic behavior, and rather than hoarding that data for an individual career or a particular point of view, sharing it – making it useful and accessible – so that we would have a more informed and grounded social science and more informed and grounded populace.  The pairing of data access with training in the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research has been a key element of that vision. Quantitative methods and data can be ways that groups that have access to them gain power. Or they can be shared so that specialized knowledge empowers us all – to understand and impact the world in which we live.  ICPSR is committed to meaningful sharing – data that are useful – training that is accessible – so that social science helps us to understand and contribute to a better social, a better society.

This vision has been carried on for almost sixty years, by the hundreds of people who have worked at ICPSR, by the thousands of people who have taught and studied and shared data and used data at ICPSR.  It has been carried on by our member institutions, now almost 800 strong. It has been carried on by our partners at the National Institutes of Aging and the Office of Justice Programs who founded archives here over forty years ago, and by our many partners at NSF and NIH and NEA, HHS, Robert Wood Johnson, Mellon, Spencer, and Annie E. Casey, and Arnold, and at professional associations like the AERA and AEA and APA, and to the Gates Foundation for its support of both access to data on education and for its support, along with University of Michigan’s, for the Summer Program’s Diversity Scholars.  ICPSR has trained generations of scholars from underrepresented backgrounds in quantitative methods, transforming who does quantitative social science, and our Diversity Scholars program will accelerate that transformation.

This vision is made real every day by you, each and every one of you who make ICPSR happen every day.  I’m particularly grateful today for the work of Jared Lyle, in preparing our nomination for this award, and to the amazing staff in administration and membership and communication – Dory and Shelly and Michelle and Anna and Linda and Catherine Allen-West from ISR – and everyone who put together this event.  They even got us all glasses to toast this amazing event – we have the best swag – so grab a glass, and let us toast ourselves and everyone who has helped to make ICPSR an organization that is deserving of a NATIONAL MEDAL for Museum and Library Service in 2019!!!

– ICPSR Director Margaret Levenstein

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