The interviewer for the 19th volume in the EERI Oral History Series was Robert Reitherman. William A. Anderson is a scholar-pioneer in the field of sociology. His oral history offers insight into his roles as a supportive colleague and mentor and an architect of the current U.S. science and engineering research infrastructure. Anderson began his career at Ohio State University, moved on to Arizona State, and then served more than two decades in Washington, D.C., at the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and the National Academies. In her personal introduction, Kathleen Tierney writes, “For decades, Bill advocated for multidisciplinary, integrated research on hazards and disasters, and he played a pivotal role in bringing about that integration…due in no small measure to his persistence and coalition-building skills...His career was launched through the study not only of major disasters like the 1964 Alaska earthquake, but also through research on the civil unrest that swept U.S. cities, campus protests against the Vietnam war, and movements sparked by the demise of colonialism...Bill was a visionary and institution builder within the organizations he joined.” 2011, 132 pages, 978-1-932884-50-0.
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The intent of the EERI oral history project is to publish a series of interviews with prominent figures in the field of earthquake engineering to preserve some of the rich history of those who have pioneered in shaping seismic design theory and practice.