Newsletter Section


Faculty Spotlight: Kristina Olson is awarded a "Genius Grant" from the MacArthur Foundation.

Kristina Olson
MacArthur Fellow Kristina Olson

In October 2018, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded UW Associate Professor of Psychology Kristina Olson one of the 2018 MacArthur Foundation’s fellowships or “genius grants”.  Professor Olson was recognized for advancing the scientific understanding of gender and shedding light on the social and cognitive development of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth.  Dr. Olson was one of twenty-five winners to receive the 2018 MacArthur Foundation fellowships, which is awarded by the foundation to “talented individuals in a variety of fields who have shown exceptional originality in and dedication to their creative pursuits.”

With the MacArthur grant, Professor Olson will receive a $625,000 “no-strings attached” stipend from the MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Olson is currently conducting the first large-scale, national, longitudinal study of socially-transitioned transgender children and is now expanding her work to include other gender nonconforming groups. Dr. Olson recently told UW News that she “hopes to use some of the money to support underrepresented students in science, or to take on riskier projects”.

Since the establishment of the award in 1981, the MacArthur Foundation has awarded almost 1000 people with this prestigious fellowship. Dr. Olson joins a prestigious group of 11 other MacArthur fellows who have won the award while at the University of Washington. 

Earlier this year, Dr. Olson became the first psychologist to receive the National Science Foundation’s prestigious $1 million Alan T. Waterman award. Professor Olson is the first UW faculty member to receive the Waterman Award in its 43-year history and the first woman to win it since 2004.

Faculty Spotlight: Tony Greenwald honored with the Golden Goose Award

Tony Greenwald
Tony Greenwald

Professor Tony Greenwald was awarded the Golden Goose Award from American Association for the Advancement of Science in September 2018 in recognition for his research on implicit social cognition. Dr. Greenwald shared this honor with his colleagues Mahzarin Banaji from Harvard University and Brian Nosek from the University of Virginia. 

Dr. Greenwald and his colleagues developed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) which gained widespread attention as a research and educational tool. The test captures unconscious biases toward various social groups and has now been taken online more 25 million times since it first debut in 1998 and it has been used in over 2,000 peer-reviewed research publications.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science annually bestows the Golden Goose Award to investigators and their federally funded research that “may have been considered silly, odd, or obscure when first conducted but has resulted in significant benefits to society.” The award was established in 2012 to counter criticisms of wasteful research spending by the government, reminiscent of the Golden Fleece Awards by the late U.S. Senator William Proxmire.