Dr. Steven Sawyer, iSchool professor and core faculty in the University’s Renée Crown Honors Program, was recently announced as the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Recipient of the 2021 Award of Merit.Steve Sawyer

The Award of Merit is the highest honor presented by ASIS&T and recognizes an individual who has made noteworthy contributions to the information science field. Recipients are chosen based on impact on theory, scholarship, and practice; exemplary leadership and sustained involvement; and education and mentoring.

“I appreciate the award for its recognition of the work done with so many colleagues to build the trans-disciplinary community of scholars pursuing sociotechnical approaches to studies of information-related phenomena.  Community building is collective action, and I am honored to be representing my peers,” says Dr. Sawyer. “The award also comes as so much excellent sociotechnical scholarship is informing our field. It’s inspiring to see sociotechnical work impact critical areas of scholarship such as information seeking, HCI, misinformation studies, human-centered approaches to AI and data science, and studies of the many futures of work. 

Dr. Sawyer’s research builds on and advances in social informatics, more broadly, socio-technical principles for studying information and communication technologies. He focuses on social practices, collective action, the roles and functions of the technologies and systems of information sharing, and the institutional contexts in which these happen. His current research projects include distributed scientific collaborations, scientific data repositories, project-based work, and technological skills this requires, and new ways of organizing work. 

“Steve is eminently deserving of this recognition because of this contribution to the field of information science, in theory, practice, leadership, and education and mentoring through a career of sustained involvement with information science and with ASIS&T,” says Kevin Crowston, Associate Dean for Research and Distinguished Professor of Information Science Syracuse University School of Information Studies. “He is an author on several seminal works on social informatics that shaped and continue to shape the field. He has also shaped scholarship in information science through his contribution to the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST), a distributed community of researchers and practitioners interested in addressing social challenges and ethical questions related to computing and society.” 

Dr. Sawyer has built an extensive collection of work starting in the 1990s. He published 46 articles, three books, 28 book chapters, 37 refereed conference papers, more than 70 invited talks, and many additional works.

Dr. Sawyer will receive his award during the 2021 meeting of the ASIS&T, which will be held October 29-November 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah.