Remembrance of Becky Morton from James N. Druckman

I met Becky during my graduate school years at UCSD. She visited UCSD for a year in the late 1990s. Becky taught a class on experimental methods – and this was a time well before most of the discipline was doing experiments. I vividly recall asking her about the class and mentioning that much of my work did not employ economic style approaches to experimentation. Her response was along the lines of “that’s great, then I can learn from you and you can learn from me.” Over the next twenty years, the latter part of that statement certainly was true. I have had the privilege of corresponding with Becky regularly for my entire career. She commented on parts of my dissertation, read some of my early work, shared initial versions of her foundational book with Ken Williams, Experimental Political Science and the Study of Causality, and readily sent me her current work when I asked for it. Years later, she played a vital role in the origins of the experimental section. Everyone knows that, along with Josh Tucker, she was the inaugural coeditor of JEPS, but what may be less well-known is the enormous amount of time and effort Becky and Josh put into making JEPS happen. In many ways, JEPS is part of her professional legacy. But there is so much more. Becky was a pioneering experimental political scientist whose work spanned formal theory, elections, representation, turnout, and more. Becky had a clear intellectual vision and it is one that has shaped the discipline. In one my last correspondences with Becky, I mentioned an edited volume on which I was working and apologized that she was not included. She responded that she was very glad to not be included because it is time for younger scholars to take the mantel in developing and advocating for experimental methods. I agree and I hope that as they do so, they turn to Becky’s work and think about how Becky’s vision, passion, and diligence opened the doors for all of us who do experiments in political science. I will miss her greatly.

James N. Druckman, Northwestern University