Erin Leahey is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. Her recent work focuses on inequality in science and scientific careers, particularly along gender lines.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Leahey will investigate the effects of interdisciplinarity on individual scientists’ careers. Efforts to promote interdisciplinarity coincide with efforts to promote women and minorities in science, but little is known about whether and how these trends intersect. Using various data-collection and -analysis techniques and validated measures of interdisciplinarity, she will assess the risks of engaging in interdisciplinary work and determine whether women, minorities, and younger scholars are disproportionately subject to such risks.
Leahey received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002. She has published her research in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Gender & Society, Social Forces, and Social Studies of Science. Leahey recently won an award from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts for creative use of its data to develop measures of two theoretical constructs relevant to scientific careers: the extent of specialization and subfield integration.