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American sociologist who was instrumental in establishing sociology as an academic discipline in the United States. An optimist who believed that the social sciences had already given mankind the information basic to happiness, Ward advocated a planned, or "telic," society ("sociocracy") in which nationally organized education would be the dynamic factor. In his system social scientists, assembled into a legislative advisory academy in Washington, D.C., would occupy much the same role as did the sociologist-priests in the utopian plan of French sociologist Auguste Comte.