Five Women Honored With Awards From the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences recently announced honors for 15 individuals recognizing “their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences.” Among the 15 honorees are five women.

(L to R) Allison J. Doupe, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Deborah S. Jin, Rebecca Saxe, and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke

Allison J. Doupe, professor of psychiatry and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, is the recipient of the Pradel Research Award. The award comes with a $50,000 prize to support her research. Professor Doupe is being honored for her work with songbirds showing how neural circuits process information. Dr. Doupe holds a medial degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy received the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing. A professor emerita at the University of California at Davis, Hrdy was honored for her books and reviews showing how natural selection has shaped women’s lives. The award comes with a $10,000 prize. Hrdy is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Among her books is Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding (Harvard University Press, 2009).

Deborah S. Jin has won the Comstock Prize in Physics, which is given to acknowledge a recent innovative discovery or investigation in electricity, magnetism, or radiant energy. The prize comes with a $20,000 award. Dr. Jin is a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Colorado. She is a graduate of Princeton University and earned a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago.

Rebecca Saxe is an associate professor in the department of brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was chosen to receive the Troland Research Award for her work identifying the part of the human brain that is used to analyze what other people are thinking. She will receive $50,000 to support her research. A native of Toronto, Dr. Saxe has been on the faculty at MIT since 2006. She earned her Ph.D. at MIT.

Elizabeth Shilin Spelke in one of two inaugural recipients of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, which comes with a $200,000 award. Dr. Spelke is the Marshall L. Berkman Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College and holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University.

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