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Learning Experts Join National Academy of Sciences

Two scientists whose work bears on education are among the 72 U.S. scholars recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The academy was launched by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War to advise the nation on scientific matters. It's now part of what is known as the National Academies, an umbrella that also includes the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council. Over the years, the considered opinions of the Academies' blue-ribbon panels has weighed heavily in some national debates on education. (Think reading wars, for one.) And getting elected to its membership is a big deal in the scientific community.

The new members from the learning sciences world are Greg J. Duncan, an education professor at the University of California, Irvine, and Patricia K. Kuhl, a co-director of the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Duncan's work over the years has focused on early childhood learning and the effects of poverty and work-support programs on children and their families. Ms. Kuhl specializes in language acquisition and the neural bases of language, language development in autism, and computer speech recognition. They join an elite group of more than 2,000 scholars from around the world.

You can find the full list, which also includes 18 newly elected scholars from other nations, on the Academies' Web site.


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