Doug Medin Presides over Association for Psychological Science Convention

Doug Medin Presides over Association for Psychological Science Convention

Douglas Medin

Professor Douglas Medin, who is president of the Association for Psychological Science, will chair the presidential symposium during the organization's convention in Chicago from May 24 to 27.

The presidential symposium on “Diverse Perspectives: Who Owns Science?” will analyze diversity in science and explore how the nature of science may depend on who’s doing it. One of the participating scholars is Megan Bang (PhD10), who graduated from the SESP Learning Sciences program.

Bang's symposium topic is “Seeing Relational Epistemologies and Impacts on Cognition: Towards Improving Science Education for Native Youth.” Her academic work has explored the kinds and forms of explanations, arguments and attentional habits Native American children are exposed to and learn in community settings as they relate to school science learning.

She is now an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington, where her work focuses on issues of culture, cognition and development. More specifically she studies community-based and culturally based science education. Bang also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at TERC, an education research organization, and served as director of education at the American Indian Center in Chicago.

Other presidential symposium presenters are Margaret Beale Spencer of the University of Chicago on "Advancing Grounded Portrayals of Human Development for Diverse Communities," Helen Longino of Stanford University on "Science, Diversity and Objectivity" and Richard Shweder of University of Chicago on "Fundamentalism in Mainstream Psychology versus Other Big Currents."

For information about all the convention speakers and registration, visit

Medin is the Louis W. Menk Professor of Psychology and also a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern. Best known for his research on concepts and categorization, his recent research has extended to cross-cultural studies of biological categorization and reasoning, cultural and cognitive dimensions of moral reasoning and decision making, and culturally and community-based science education.

This latter work has been conducted in the form of a partnership involving the American Indian Center of Chicago, the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin and Northwestern University. He has conducted research on cognition and learning among both indigenous and majority culture populations in Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

Recently he served on the National Research Council committee on Informal Science Learning. He is a recipient of an APA Presidential Citation and the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Association for Psychological Science is a professional organization for the advancement of scientifically oriented psychology. The organization publishes several journals, holds annual meetings, disseminates psychological science research findings and works with policymakers to strengthen support for scientific psychology.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 2/23/12