Mathieu Albert

Mathieu Albert Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Sociology of science and health professions; interdisciplinary studies; education research; social theory; qualitative research methods
Psychotherapy, Humanities, and Psychosocial Interventions
Dr. Mathieu Albert
Contact Info
T: (416) 340-3646
UHN - Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth St
Toronto, ON, M5G 2C4
Appointment Status Primary
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry Scientist, Wilson Centre

Dr. Mathieu Albert obtained his Ph.D. (1999) in sociology of science at Université de Montréal. His current work, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), primarily focuses on interdisciplinary research in health. Dr. Albert has published in a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals in social science and in medicine, including articles on symbolic boundaries between scientific groups (in Minerva and Social Science and Medicine), science policy-making processes (Science, Technology & Human Values), academic assessment criteria (Higher Education) and funding agencies (Canadian Journal of Higher Education and Social Science and Medicine). He co-edited a book with Dr. Scott Frickel (Brown University) and Dr. Barbara Prainsack (University of Vienna) on interdisciplinarity in 2017 (Investigating Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Theory and Practice across Disciplines. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press:). He also co-edited with Dr. Daniel Kleinman (Boston University) a special issue of the journal Minerva (2011) on Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory and the sociology of science entitled: “Beyond the Canon: Pierre Bourdieu and Science and Technology Studies.” Dr. Albert was an elected member of the Science, Knowledge and Technology Section Council of the American Sociological Association from 2012 to 2015. In 2011, he received the Sociology of Knowledge and Technology section Best Paper Award for his article titled: “Boundary-Work in the Health Research Field: Biomedical and Clinician Scientists’ Perceptions of Social Science Research” (Minerva, 2009), and the 2001 Sheffield Prize awarded by the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education for his paper: “Funding Agencies’ Coping Strategies to the Canadian and Quebec Governments' Budget Cuts” (Canadian Journal of Higher Education).


Research Synopsis

Drawing on the sociology of science, sociology of culture, and organizational sociology (e.g., Abbott, Bourdieu, Gieryn, Knorr-Cetina, Meyer, Lamont), my current research examines how the changing research policy landscape in Canada has impacted the distribution of symbolic and material resources and created new boundaries in health research. More specifically, my research explore questions such as: Are interdisciplinary policies in the health research field inadvertently creating new hierarchies among disciplines? What is the impact of these policies on knowledge production and what is seen as legitimate science in health? What strategies do scientific groups deploy to achieve legitimacy in this new research environment? Answering these questions is critical, as we need to clarify whether interdisciplinary research policies are holding their promise of creating new, inclusive research environments in health or whether they are surreptitiously producing new hierarchies between scientific groups. In other words, are interdisciplinary science policies facilitating the development of the entire intellectual academic landscape or are they merely displacing the boundaries between disciplines and creating new hierarchical systems?


Mathieu Albert, Suzanne Laberge (PI)

Project: Interdisciplinarity from the top down: A study of the impact of CIHR's policies on three Canadian academic communities

Agency: Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Amount: $197,396

Type: Peer-reviewed, National Agency

Term: 2016-2021

Publications and Awards

Recent Publications

Albert, M., Laberge, S. (2017). Confined to a tokenistic status: Social scientists in leadership roles in a national health research funding agency. Social Science & Medicine. 185: 137-146.

Frickel, S. Albert, M. Prainsack. B. (2017). Investigating Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Theory and Practice across Disciplines. Frickel, S. Albert, M. Prainsack. B. Eds. Rutgers University Press: New Jersey.

Albert, M. Paradis, E., Kuper, A. (2017). Interdisciplinary fantasy: Social Scientists and Humanities Scholars working in Faculties of Medicine. In Investigating Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Theory and Practice across Disciplines. Frickel, S. Albert, M. Prainsack. B. Eds. (pp. 84-103).Rutgers University Press: New Jersey.

Albert, M. Laberge, S., Hodges B.D. (2015). Who wants to collaborate with social scientists? Biomedical and clinical scientists’ perceptions of social science? In Collaboration across Health Research and Medical Care. Eds: Bart Penders, Niki Vermeulen & John Parker. (pp. 59-80). Routledge.

Albert, M., Paradis, E., Kuper, A. (2015). Interdisciplinary promises versus practices in medicine: The decoupled experiences of social sciences and humanities scholars. Social Sciences & Medicine. 126: 17-25.

Albert, M., Paradis, E. (2014). Social scientists in the health research field: A clash of epistemic habitus In Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society. Eds: Daniel Lee Kleinman and Kelly Moore. (pp. 369-387) Routledge.

Albert, M., McGuire, W. (2014). Understanding Change in Academic Knowledge Production in a Neoliberal Era. Political Power and Social Theory. (27): 33-57. Special issue edited by Scott Frickel and David J. Hess titled Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age.

Honours and Awards


Helen P. Batty Development Award - Innovation in Program Development  and Design. University of Toronto (teaching award).


Best Paper Award. American Sociological Association (Science, Knowledge and Technology Section), (Albert, M., Laberge, S., & Hodges, Brian D., 2009, Boundary work in the health research field: Biomedical and clinician scientists’ perceptions of social science research. Minerva. 47(2): 171-194).


The Wilson Centre’s Mentorship Award (teaching award), University of Toronto.


Sheffield Award. Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education. (Albert, M., 2000, Stratégies d’adaptation des organismes subventionnaires en sciences humaines et sociales aux compressions budgétaires des gouvernements canadien et québécois. [Funding Agencies’ Coping Strategies to the Canadian and Quebec Governments' Budget Cuts]. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 30(3): 1-32).