Jason Owen-Smith is a sociologist who examines how science, commerce, and the law cohere and conflict in contemporary societies and economies. Together with collaborators, Jason works on projects that examine the dynamics of high-technology industries, the commercialization of academic science, and the politics of human embryonic stem cell research. He seeks to understand how organizations, institutions, and networks can maintain the status quo while generating novelty through social transformations, scientific discoveries, and technological breakthroughs. Findings from this research have been published in outlets including the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological Review, Higher Education, Management Science, Nature Biotechnology, Organization Science, Research Policy, and Social Studies of Science.
Professor Owen-Smith has held faculty appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Organizational Studies Program at the University of Michigan since 2002. He has served as Interim Director of the Organizational Studies Program and The Barger Leadership Institute since July 2010. Jason is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Industries Studies Fellowship in Biotechnology. In 2008 he received the University of Michigan's Henry Russel Award, which recognizes mid-career faculty for exceptional scholarship and conspicuous teaching ability. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology at the University of Arizona and a B.A. in Sociology and Philosophy from the New College of Florida.