Robert J. Sampson is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, founding director of the Boston Area Research Initiative, and Affiliated Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. Previously he taught at the University of Chicago and before that the University of Illinois.
Sampson is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He served as President of the American Society of Criminology and received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology. Sampson was also elected as Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2018-2019 he was a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Professor Sampson's research and teaching cover a variety of areas including crime, disorder, the life course, neighborhood effects, civic engagement, inequality, "ecometrics," and the social structure of the city. He is the author of three award-winning books and numerous articles—see links to vita, articles, books, projects, data, classes, and interviews. His last book, published by the University of Chicago Press, is Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect. Great American City is based on the culmination of over a decade of research from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), for which Sampson served as Scientific Director. For an intellectual biography see the National Academy of Sciences (2008).