Elke Koch-Weser

Elke Kock-Weser passed away. She was an honorary member of Knowledge and Innovation. The reason for her recent adhesion can be found way back in time. Elke in fact worked with many of us from the very beginning of our scientific and professional venture (since the early 80s), which eventually merged into our association. Together with her late husband, the sociologist Paolo Ammassari, Elke shared with us many significant moments.
We remember the conferences in Rome, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Bamako, Kobe, and Algiers along with the work and discussions on themes that were dear to her as well as to us, such as development, modernisation, gender equality and, above all, the common concern on how to make sociology, enriched by statistics, fruitful for the understanding of social phenomena. We met recently, when she had retired from her most pressing work engagements, in the occasion in which she held a very touching eulogy on the scientific and human figure of Giancarlo Quaranta on the occasion of the first anniversary of his departure. We then met her, one last time, in a seminar on the role of gender in economic analysis models no later than one year ago.
Elke was a kind and generous person, of great human quality. A cosmopolitan social scientist of vast experience and various interests, who has contributed to the professional development of many of us, who met her when we were young researchers. Her departure brings a great sorrow. In the years to come we will remember her smile, her enthusiasm and her strength.

Born in Brazil, Elke Koch-Weser, professor of social statistics, absolved her studies in Germany with a first diploma in journalism and later in the United States with a Ph.D. in communication and a specialization in quantitative social research. Once in Italy she has conducted research at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and until retirement has held the Chair of Social Statistics at the Faculty of Statistics, Demography and Actuarial Sciences. Her publications regard the methodological problems of measurement in social research and the elaboration of official statistics as well as key topics in the realm of the mass media, leisure, time use, and gender
studies. Much of her effort was dedicated to the strengthening of international cooperation in the social sciences. An active member of several scientific associations, she has been Vice-President of the International Institute of Sociology as well as the Coordinator of the program of the European Ph.D. in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies involving universities in several European countries.

Elke Koch-Weser – together with her late husband Paolo Ammassari, professor of sociology and methodology of social research – has ever accompanied, participated in and supported the manifold local and international activities promoted and undertaken by the group of sociologists and social researchers who in 2014 established Knowledge & Innovation. Since the origin of this group, in 1974, she has been sharing some of the group’s objectives and principles such as solidarity, fostering science by means of cross-cultural cooperation as well as the convictions regarding the need of conducting policy-oriented research in a multidisciplinary perspective.