Professor Goldin-Meadow to give 2019 McGovern Lecture at AAAS Annual Meeting

Professor Susan Goldin-Meadow, the Beardsley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, will deliver the annual John McGovern Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Goldin-Meadow, who joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1976, is a member of the Department of Psychology, the Department of Comparative Human Development, and the Committee on Education in the Division of the Social Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975.

Her address, The Gestural Origins of Language and Thought, will be given on Friday, February 15, at 12 Noon. As described in the program, her talk will explore:

Gesture is versatile in form and function.  Under certain circumstances, gesture can substitute for speech, and when it does, it embodies the properties of language that children themselves bring to language learning, and underscores the resilience of language itself. Under other circumstances, gesture can form a fully integrated system with speech.  When it does, it both predicts and promotes learning, and underscores the resilience of gesture in thinking.

Goldin-Meadow was part of the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development sponsored by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine and leading to the book Neurons to Neighborhoods. She is a Fellow of AAAS, APS, APA (Divisions 3 and 7), LSA, Cognitive Science Society, Society for Experimental Psychologists, and the Psychonomic Society, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship, which led to her two books, Resilience of Language and Hearing Gesture.

She co-edited Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought and founded the journal Language Learning and Development. She has served as Chair of the Section on Psychology and the Section on Linguistics and Language Science at AAAS, President of the Cognitive Development Society, President of the International Society for Gesture Studies, and Chair of the Cognitive Science Society.

Goldin-Meadow was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, received the Mentor Award in Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association in 2011, and the William James Award for Lifetime Achievement in Basic Research from the Association for Psychological Science in 2015.

First delivered in 1990, the John McGovern Lecture honors prominent behavioral scientists from around the world. This lecture has been endowed by the John P. McGovern Foundation, to enable all scholars to learn and explore the accomplishments and challenges of the behavioral sciences. Dr. McGovern was an internationally recognized practicing physician, scientist, scholar, educator, and humanitarian.