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Dear Fellow Socnetters,

I was both enthralled by the NY Times story last week discovering social
network analysis and shocked by the claim that the field only got started
with physicists in the 1990s. Duncan Watts, our recent keynoter, is
prominently quoted, but I don't hold these factual mis-statements against
him, as I've seen newspaper reporters -- including the Times -- do weird
things before (to me).

However, I have sent off the letter below to the NY Times. Perhaps you'd
also like to educate them.

 Barry
 ___________________________________________________________________

  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
  [log in to unmask]   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162
 ___________________________________________________________________

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 11:02:33 -0500
From: Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>
To: new york times letters <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: duncan watts <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Erroneous facts

Emily Eakin's story Jan 25 story ("Connect, They Say, Only Connect") makes
a huge factual mistake by saying that network analysis as a discipline
only started when physicists discovered it in the late 1990s. In reality,
it's been going strong since the 1960s, with a substantial body of theory,
method and substance. There are three journals [Social Networks,
Connections - both published since the 1970s; and the Journal of Social
Structure], an annual international and interdisciplinary conference
(happening for about the 30th time next month), and an international
society with about 500 members (the International Network for Social
Network Analysis, which I founded in 1977). It's great that physicists
(and the NY Times) are joining an already flourishing party.

 Barry

 ___________________________________________________________________

  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
  [log in to unmask]   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162
 ___________________________________________________________________

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