Richard Rockwell

University of Michigan
Professor of Sociology, Associate Head
Richard Rockwell Image

Dr. Rockwell has pursued two tracks in his professional life: data archivist and sociologist. His career was punctuated by a thirteen-year stint as a program officer for the Social Science Research Council (New York). As a data archivist, he directed the Louis Harris Data Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1969-1976), the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan (1991-2000), and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research of the University of Connecticut (2000-2004). His sociological training was in social demography and quantitative methodology. While at SSRC, he developed a research interest in global-scale environmental changes that occur over time spans of decades to centuries. Many of these changes are caused by human actions, and some are having or will have significant effects on human societies. He have worked on the environment since 1985, serving on a number of international interdisciplinary scientific committees and directing conferences, workshops, and institutes in this area. His current focus is on whether and how cities might be engineered or retro-engineered to reduce the impact on the environment of our production and consumption patterns while also improving the quality of life for us all, especially in the developing world.