Social Sciences Dean Kosslyn Departs

The cognitive psychologist will become director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Stephen Kosslyn

Lindsley professor of psychology Stephen M. Kosslyn, dean of social science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) since 2008, will depart to become director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, at Stanford, effective January 1. The center’s announcement is here. Kosslyn, former chair of Harvard’s psychology department, earned his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1974; a cognitive neuroscientist, he investigates visual perception and communication (see his laboratory website here).

As divisional dean for social science, Kosslyn initiated efforts to understand and disseminate best teaching practices, and was planning a summer social-sciences immersion institute for undergraduates, similar to the PRISE program for students concentrating in the sciences (read FAS dean Michael D. Smith's annual report description of these activities here, at pages 23-24). As reported in Harvard Magazine, Kosslyn recently led a symposium dedicated to identifying the principal "hard problems" social scientists seek to understand and resolve, and had hosted a series of faculty-led conversations on contemporary issues, including this forum on the recession and economic prospects.

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