Welcome to the Russell Group

School of Social Sciences
3151 Social Science Plaza
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-5100

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The Russell Group in the social sciences is a tribute to what is known as "Bertrand Russell's Paradox". Or as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states: "the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Such a set appears to be a member of itself if and only if it is not a member of itself. Hence the paradox.

Not very clear? In simpler terms,Scientific American has a nice example: "Consider a group of barbers who shave only those men who do not shave themselves. Suppose there is a barber in this collection who does not shave himself; then by the definition of the collection, he must shave himself. But no barber in the collection can shave himself. (If so, he would be a man who does shave men who shave themselves.)"

Currently the Russell Group has a single member: Russell Dalton, who joined in Spring 2015 after departing from his former department. Dalton coincidentally met Bertrand Russell when Dalton was an undergraduate philosophy student at UCLA.

History of the Russell Group

The School of Social Sciences began as a relatively small faculty with diverse social science interests, but without a organizational structure to identify subgroups or fields. When the School created academic departments in the 1980s, the new bylaws spelled out this institutional structure. However, some faculty preferred their independent status as scholars and teachers. Thus, the insightful author of the bylaws created the Russell Group, which consists of all members of the set that are not members of a set.

September 2015.