September-October 2008 Issue • Volume 36 • Issue 7

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Kessler Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

In April, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced the election of Harvard University sociologist Ronald Kessler among this year’s 72 new members (Theda Skocpol, also at Harvard, was elected as well (see July/August 2008 Footnotes)). NAS members are recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in American science. Members help write reports on key scientific issues to inform policymakers’ decisions.

Kessler, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy, has a wide range of research interests. He is the principal investigator of the National Comorbidity Survey, the first nationally representative survey of the prevalence and correlates of psychiatric disorders in the United States. He co-directs the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health (WMH) surveys, a series of nationally representative epidemiological surveys carried out in 28 countries. In addition, he directs the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group, a panel study of psychological adjustment among people who were residents of the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina at the time of the storm. He is the recipient of Research Scientist and MERIT Awards from the National Institute of Mental Health.

The National Academy of Sciences, established in 1863, is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. For more information on The National Academies, visit small_green


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