I have a broad research program on the impact of the worldwide education revolution’s impact on the historical rise of postindustrial society and global development.  Specifically this includes influence of education on health, mortality, and related population dynamics, as well on the development of the knowledge society and science productivity.  I am also interested in testing theory about the emergence and impact of social institutions, the formation of cultural forces, and how human society sustains itself. I currently lead a range of projects (with a range of methods) with students and colleagues on the effects of education on: historically growing cognitive skills in populations; transformation of occupations; health risk behaviors in terms of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, smoking in the U.S. and China, and obesity in Latin American; development of images of the global society; and, technological adaptation across 63 nations.  Two new projects include a randomized clinical trial intervention on education and public health messages, and an analysis of the global role of the university in scientific knowledge production over the 20th century.

Research Interests

Demography; Social Inequality; Social Institutions and Culture; Health and Life Course


  • Ph.D., Sociology, The John Hopkins University, 1982
  • M.S., Communication Research, Boston University, 1975
  • B.A., Psychology, Albion College, 1974