Columbia University sociologist Robert Merton, founder of the sociology of science, lectured on "The State of the Social Sciences in the Soviet Union." Considered one of the founders of modern sociology and the developer of the concept of "unintended consequences" and of the terms "role model" and "self-fulfilling prophecy," Professor Merton was one of the first American sociologists to visit the USSR, in 1961 with a group of behavioral scientists. Somewhat encouraged by recent turnings toward empiricism in Soviet social science, he stood apart from many Western observers, holding that it remained atheoretical and resembled market research more than rigorous scholarship.