Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Psychology researcher Susan Gelman elected to National Academy of Sciences

Susan Gelman, the Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Psychology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her excellence in original scientific research.  

  Susan Gelman

Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Gelman will be inducted into the academy next April during its 150th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“I was thrilled and humbled to receive this honor,” Gelman says. “Over the course of my career, I’ve been incredibly lucky to collaborate with spectacular students and colleagues across a range of disciplines. I’m grateful to the University of Michigan for providing these opportunities.”

Gelman’s research examines cognitive and language development in young children. She works with her research team to understand how children organize their experience into categories, and how children come to understand foundational concepts such as causality, ownership and authenticity.

“In our work, we have discovered that from an early age, children seek to understand non-obvious, hidden qualities of the world around them,” she says. “We are also interested in the subtle ways that language directs children’s attention and guides their thinking.”


View a full list of newly elected National Academy of Sciences members.

Gelman was elected along with 83 others. There are 2,152 active NAS members, including 26 from U-M. The academy’s renowned members include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. Nearly 200 living NAS members have won Nobel Prizes.

There also are 430 NAS foreign associates. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.