Robert Staughton Lynd was an American sociologist and professor at Columbia University, New York City. He is best known for conducting the first Middletown studies of Muncie, Indiana, with his wife, Helen Lynd; as the coauthor of Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929) and Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (1937); and a pioneer in the use of social surveys. He was also the author of Knowledge for What? The Place of the Social Sciences in American Culture (1939). In addition to writing and research, Lynd taught at Columbia from 1931 to 1960. He also served on U.S government committees and advisory boards, including President Herbert Hoover's Research Committee on Social Trends and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Consumers' Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration. Lynd was also a member of several scientific societies.