Personalities

Steven Breckler, PhD, executive director of APA's Science Directorate, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his "visionary contributions to science policy as it affects psychological science."

In his four years at APA and nine years as director of the National Science Foundation's social psychology program, Breckler has shown immense vision and political acumen in advancing psychological science, says Temple University psychologist Nora Newcombe, PhD, secretary of the AAAS psychology section.

At NSF, for example, Breckler helped to create the NSF Science of Learning Centers program, which brings together scientists of various disciplines to tackle questions about learning. The centers were some of the first of their kind in the social and behavioral sciences.

Since coming to APA in 2004, Breckler has championed the cause of research psychology and fostered connections between basic science and more applied areas of psychology, says Newcombe. One major success was securing funding from APA for Psy21, a set of activities with the goal of helping research psychology meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

The election of Breckler and the 11 other psychologists this year underscores the acceptance of psychology as a science, Newcombe says.

Along with Breckler, AAAS honored the following psychologists with fellow status.

  • Jocelyne Bachevalier, PhD, of Emory University, for her work in humans and animal models on the role of specific brain structures in the regulation of social and cognitive behaviors.

  • Martin S. Banks, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley, for his work that has helped explain how human vision operates and develops. Banks is also an APA fellow.

  • Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, of Boston College, for her distinguished contributions to psychology, particularly her theoretical and empirical work on the nature of emotion. Barrett is also an APA fellow.

  • Eliot A. Brenowitz, PhD, of the University of Washington, for his distinguished contributions to the fields of neuroethology and animal behavior, particularly for successfully integrating behavioral, endocrine, aneural and comparative approaches to the study of animal communication.

  • Nathan Fox, PhD, of the University of Maryland, for his seminal work on the underpinnings of early temperament and social behavior.

  • John D.E. Gabrieli, PhD, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for his penetrating analyses of the nature of human memory, its neural substrates, its development and its problems.

  • Barbara Landau, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, for her groundbreaking work on the origins and nature of human language and its development under a variety of biological and environmental conditions. Landau is also an APA fellow.

  • Douglas L. Medin, PhD, of Northwestern University, for his influential contributions to understanding how humans form categories. Medin is also an APA fellow.

  • Laura-Ann Petitto, PhD, of the University of Toronto, for using behavioral and neuroscience techniques to better understand aspects of human language, including bilingualism and sign language.

  • Linda P. Spear, PhD, of Binghamton University, for her work on the mechanisms that underlie alcoholism and drug abuse. Spear is also an APA fellow.

  • Betty Tuller, PhD, of Florida Atlantic University, for her distinguished contributions to furthering our understanding of speech-motor and speech-perceptual processes.