The Biden Administration has appointed Yale’s Jennifer Richeson, the Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a distinguished panel that advises the president and the White House on issues related to science, technology, education, and innovation policy.
Richeson was one of 30 leaders in science and technology named to the council, the administration announced today.
“I am incredibly honored and grateful to have an opportunity to serve our nation in this way,” Richeson said. “The social and behavioral sciences are poised to uncover pathways to a healthier, more prosperous, and secure nation.”
Richeson is director of the Social Perception and Communications Lab at Yale and recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Fellowship.”
In announcing the new members, the White House noted that Richeson’s research “has illuminated how identities — particularly racial identities — are formed and shaped through interactions with others. She is one of America’s leading scholars of interracial interactions, racial identity, bias and prejudice, cultural diversity, social inequality, and injustice.”
“Jennifer Richeson’s research has transformed our understanding of how people respond to inequality,” said FAS Dean Tamar Szabó Gendler. “Her findings have profoundly influenced both academic psychology and public understanding, and in her new role as a member of PCAST she will bring these insights to bear on matters of science practice and policy.
“By serving the country in this capacity, Richeson exemplifies the FAS’s ambition to foster research that advances not only human understanding, but the well-being of all.”
PCAST’s new members represent the most diverse group ever to serve on the council, according to the White House. Women represent half of the council and people of color and immigrants comprise a third of new members.
“The future of America depends on science and technology like never before,” said Dr. Eric Lander, PCAST’s co-chair and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “President Biden understands that addressing the opportunities and challenges we face — to our health, our planet, our economic prosperity, and our national security — will require harnessing the full power of science and technology. Scientific progress depends on people seeing things in new ways, because they bring different lenses, different experiences, different passions, different questions.
“This PCAST is uniquely prepared because of its extraordinary scientific breadth, wide range of work experiences, and unprecedented diversity.”