Neil Gross

Senior Fellow

Neil Gross is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology and chair of the social sciences division at Colby College. An expert in policing, crime, higher education, politics, and trends shaping American society, he holds a BA in legal studies from the University of California-Berkeley and a PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught previously at the University of Southern California, Harvard, the University of British Columbia, and Princeton.

Gross is the author of Walk the Walk: How Three Police Chiefs Defied the Odds and Changed Cop Culture (Metropolitan/Holt, 2023), which the New York Times described as “informed and impassioned… thoughtful and important,” adding that “Gross’s optimism about police reform offers an antidote to the cynicism and gloom that pervade most such discussions.”

His other books are Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? (Harvard, 2013) and Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher (Chicago, 2008). Edited volumes include The New Pragmatist Sociology (Columbia, 2022, with Isaac Reed and Christopher Winship), Professors and their Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2014, with Solon Simmons), and Social Knowledge in the Making (Chicago, 2011, with Charles Camic and Michèle Lamont.) Gross’s research articles have appeared in leading academic journals and he is the former editor of Sociological Theory, a journal of the American Sociological Association.

A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Gross has also written for The Atlantic, Time Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications.

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