Molly M. King

Who owns knowledge and how does this shape inequality?

I am a sociologist who studies knowledge inequalities and the implications of these inequalities for people's lives. 

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Santa Clara UniversityLearn more >

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Latest News

New publication in The American Sociologist

Creating Sociological Knowledge and the Next Generation of Sociological Thinkers in Faculty-Directed Research with Undergraduate Research Assistants

by Molly M. King and Megan Imai

Undergraduate research in sociology departments provides opportunities for student engagement and faculty development. By interviewing both faculty and undergraduate research assistants, we outline the dynamics of faculty-directed research collaborations in sociology departments. We first detail the tasks regularly performed by undergraduate RAs and then describe the development of RA-faculty partnerships, including hiring and training. Faculty-RA teams work together on faculty-directed research through mechanisms of accountability, regular meetings, and communication. Finally, we describe how relationships transform and partnerships end. We find that faculty generally have one of two outlooks on undergraduate research: they either seek RAs as facilitators of their research or they aim to develop and mentor junior colleagues.

New article in Nature Careers

Computer algorithms infer gender, race and ethnicity. Here's how to avoid their pitfalls

by Jeffrey W. Lockhart, Molly M. King and Christin Munsch

Studies of diversity in academic publishing arrive regularly in the scientific literature. But where do the data come from? In this column, we present the various challenges of demographic-prediction algorithms, and some best practices to minimize the harms based on our longer-form research article published in Nature Human Behaviour.

New publication in Nature Human Behavior

Name-Based Demographic Inference and the Unequal Distribution of Misrecognition

by Jeffrey W. Lockhart, Molly M. King and Christin Munsch

Academics and companies increasingly draw on large datasets to understand the social world, and name-based demographic ascription tools are widespread for imputing information that is often missing from these large datasets. We find substantial inequalities in how these tools misgender and misrecognize the race/ethnicity of authors, distributing erroneous ascriptions unevenly among other demographic traits.

New public sociology piece!

Standing Up for Environmental Justice for People with Disabilities

by Molly M. King and Emily Pachoud

Statement on how people can learn, support, and engage around issues of environmental justice for people with disabilities. (Written on the invitation of SCU's Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative.)

New in Nature News & Views!

Self-publishing is Common among Academic-Journal Editors

by Molly M. King

An analysis of the publication records of academic editors shows that one-quarter of them publish 10% of their own papers in the journals they edit and reveals that fewer than 10% of editors-in-chief are women.