North Caroline SSN Chapter Co-Founder Wins Prestigious NSF Alan Waterman Award

The Scholars Strategy Network congratulates Professor Nicholas Carnes, co-founder of the North Carolina SSN chapter, on his receipt of the National Science Foundation’s Alan Waterman Award.

Carnes is the first political scientist and only the fourth social scientist to receive this award, the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious honor for an early career scientist or engineer. As part of the award, he will receive a $1 million research grant over five years.

A long-time member of SSN, Carnes joined the network in January of 2013 with a brief co-authored with Professor John Holbein that examines the roots of politicians’ frequent allegiance with the wealthy, “Are Politicians Prejudiced against the Poor?” He has since authored four additional briefs on his research into the class-backgrounds of U.S. policymakers, the effects this trend has on public policy, and the barriers most Americans face in running for office. In 2016, Carnes joined SSN’s podcast, No Jargon, to discuss the research behind his first book, White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making.

“Through both his scholarship and his work to establish the North Carolina chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, Nick has devoted his time and energy into ensuring that his research reaches beyond the academy,” said SSN’s Executive Director Pao Maynard-Moll. “He has helped change the conversation around who represents Americans at all levels of government and worked to create pathways for his peers to be able to engage publicly through their scholarship and expertise as well.”

Duke University

Carnes is the Creed C. Black Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. His research focuses on Congress, state and local legislatures, with a special focus on representation and political accountability, and the influence of legislators’ backgrounds on economic policy and inequalities of social class.