Symposium Celebrating the Career and Contributions of Robert L. Kahn (1918-2019) Sponsored by the Institute for Social Research and ISR's Survey Research Center, 426 Thompson St, Room 1430

We hope you will be able to join us for a symposium on September 20, 2019 celebrating the career and contributions of Robert L. Kahn (March 28, 1918-January 6, 2019), sponsored by the Institute for Social Research and ISR’s Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. The event will highlight the many contributions Bob made throughout his distinguished career, and provide time for attendees to share their memories of him. You are invited to this day-long symposium on Friday, September 20, 2019 followed by a reception.

When and Where

Friday, September 20, 2019

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Institute for Social Research, Room 1430

426 Thompson St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Dr. Robert L. Kahn relished the exchange of ideas. He enjoyed designing studies which targeted practical problems, and most of all analyzing and considering how best to apply the findings. He was a strong supporter of young people, junior scientists, women and minority scholars. He was committed to social justice and backed some of the toughest early decisions in the field.

Please join us in celebrating his career and contributions to the field of social science.


8:30 am Welcome and Introduction - David Lam, Director, Institute for Social Research

8:40-9:45 am Session 1: Life and Early Contributions to Survey Research and Social Psychology (mid 1940s to early 1970s). Moderator: James House (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

Robert L. (Bob) Kahn (1918-2019) And The Development of Survey Research and Social Science in the Survey Research Center and Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, and Beyond, James House (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

Some Reflections on a Wonderful Scholar, Advisor, and Role-Model, Barbara Gutek (University of Arizona, Eller College of Management)

9:45-10:20am Session 2: Contributions to Organizational Theory and Research. Moderator: Richard Price (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

Bob Kahn and his Influence on Organizational Studies (and me), Gretchen Spreitzer (University of Michigan, Ross School of Business)

Break 10:20-10:40am

10:40-11:30am Session 2 Continued: Contributions to Organizational Theory and Research.

The Best Man I Ever Knew, Robert Sutton (Stanford University, School of Engineering and Haas School of Business)

11:30am-1:00pm Session 3: Contributions to Life Course and Aging Research. Moderator: Toni Antonucci (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

Aging Research and Policy, Jack Rowe (Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health)

Adolescent and Early Adult Development, Jerry Bachman (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

Lunch 1:00-2:00pm

2:00-3:20pm Session 4: Methodological and Institutional Contributions to Survey Research and ISR. Moderator: Trevillore Raghunathan (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

A Junior Colleague’s View of Bob’s ISR Career as an Institution Builder, Methodologist and Mentor, Steve Heeringa (University of Michigan, SRC, ISR)

Lessons from a Fine Hand, Robert Groves (Provost, Georgetown University)

3:20-3:30pm Post-script: Closing Remarks and a Farewell from Bob Kahn

Public Reception 3:30-5:00pm

Playlist of the Symposium Recordings

Program PDF

SRC Newsletter In Memoriam

Livestream of the event

Robert Kahn's Research

Robert Kahn Presentation on ISR & Aging February 2018

Online Guestbook for the event

A Farewell from Bob Kahn

Robert Kahn Fellowship for the Scientific Study of Social Issues

The Robert Kahn Fellowship for the Scientific Study of Social Issues fellowship fund was established to honor Bob Kahn's lifelong commitment to using the best social science to generate new insights on major social problems and possible solutions. The recipients' research has the most promise of doing this.

If you would like to make a gift in Bob’s memory, please consider supporting the Robert Kahn Fellowship for the Scientific Study of Social Issues, an endowed fund which was established in 2010 to honor Bob’s impact and to honor his legacy at ISR for generations to come. To make a gift online, please click here.

For additional information, please contact umisr-dev@umich.edu.

Pictured to the right: Bob Kahn and a Robert Kahn Fellowship recipient, Tissyana Camacho.

"Dr. Kahn's support came at a pivotal time in my academic career. At a time where I was feeling discouraged, the support and recognition given by the Kahn Fellowship provided me with confidence and reassurance that my research mattered." -Tissyana Camacho