International Encyclopedia for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Section on Biographies)

"The Encyclopedia is the first attempt in a generation to map the social and behavioral sciences on a grand scale. On its publication in 2001, it was be the largest reference work ever published for the social and behavioral sciences and the first to appear in both print and electronic format.

The Encyclopedia includes:

  • 4,000 signed articles
  • 15 million words of text
  • 90,000 bibliographic references
  • 147 biographical entries

In its printed edition, the text runs to 24 volumes plus 2 index volumes. It is alphabetically organized and extensively cross-referenced throughout and is supported by a comprehensive name index and multi-level, hierarchical subject index. It also includes a classified list of entries. The electronic edition offers even more: The vast database of articles is enhanced by flexible search-and-retrieval facilities and by a rich variety of electronic reference links.

With annual updates, the online version of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences is a dynamic resource for students and faculty alike.

Prof. Karl Ulrich Mayer is the sub-editor of the Section on Biographies in this monumental project.

The Section on Biographies includes 147 articles on well known and important biographees from several fields, like sociology, political sciences, philosophy, history, linguistics, psychology, statistics, mathematics and others.


7 to 10 persons per discipline; only deceased people should be included; there should be evidence for intellectual influence into the present; people with visibility and impact beyond one discipline should be favored; biographies should focus on the history of ideas more than on chronological accounts of their work; figures who remain relevant for contemporary social and behavioral science.

The authors of biographic entries were given the following guidelines: to include: "(a) the briefest sketch of the major dates and events in the life of the biographee; (b) the major contours of the substantive contribution to knowledge of each biographee, including the intellectual contexts within which he or she worked; (c) most important, to assess the importance and relevance of the biographee's work for the contemporary social and behavioral sciences."


Neil J. Smelser & Paul B. Baltes (Eds.-in-chief). (2001). The International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Oxford: Elsevier Science