Monash scholars elected to prestigious Academy of Social Sciences


Four Monash University Professors have been named Fellows of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) for their distinguished contributions to their disciplines and to society.

Professor Rebekah Brown from the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Professor Kim Cornish from the School of Psychology and Director of the Monash Institute for Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, Professor Alan Petersen, and Professor Lata Gangadharan were installed as new fellows at the Academy’s General Meeting and Annual Symposium.

Their work has been recognised for significantly advancing research knowledge and developing new approaches across a range of areas including:

  • Professor Rebekah Brown head of Monash Sustainable Development Institute, conducts pioneering interdisciplinary research across the social and biophysical sciences in sustainable water management.
  • Professor Kim Cornish is Head of Psychological Sciences and Executive Director of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN). is also Lab Director of the Cornish Developmental Lab. She is an expert in genetic neurodevelopmental disorders such as Fragile X syndrome, Autism, Williams syndrome, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Down syndrome.
  • Professor Alan Petersen is a sociologist who studies the ways in which science and technology affect our everyday lives, exploring topics from nanotechnology to personalized medicine and the rise of genetics and genetic testing in healthcare.
  • Professor Lata Gangadharan’s experimental economics research focuses on incentives and preferences and has led her to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental policies and to understand the implications of positive (charitable giving behaviour) and negative social preferences (envy, corruption).

ASSA President Professor Glenn Withers said the new fellows had made distinguished contributions in their areas of expertise.

“The advanced understandings brought to all these areas by these scholars helps the nation mightily,” Professor Withers said.

The ASSA promotes excellence in the social sciences in Australia and in their contribution to public policy. It coordinates the promotion of research, teaching and advice in the social sciences, promotes national and international scholarly cooperation across disciplines and sectors, comments on national needs and priorities in the social sciences, and provides advice to governments on issues of national importance.