Three Scholars Awarded Tenure

McNally, Ekstrom Promoted From Associate Professorships

Three scholars, two in psychology and one in earth and planetary sciences, received tenure in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences over winter break.

Associate Professor of Psychology Richard J. McNally and Associate Professor of Geophysics Goran A. Ekstrom were promoted from within the University. Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist from the University of Texas, will join the Faculty in the fall.

"I think it's exciting news because they're both terrific psychologists, both researchers and teachers," said Professor of Psychology Daniel I,. Schacter, chair of the Psychology Department.

McNally, an expert on psychopathology, has been a member of the Faculty since 1991. He graduated from both Wayne State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"I've had a great deal of fun working here," McNally said. "It's an excellent department with great colleagues and great students, both in the psychology department and the psychiatry department."


McNany said he is currently participating in a series of studies on Sattention and memory in those suffering from anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"He's told us a lot about how people with anxiety disorders process information," Schacter said. "He's a wide-ranging scholar. He wrote a terrific book on panic disorders, which is one of the leading texts in the field."

Gilbert, an expert in social psychology who graduated summer cum laude from the University of Colorado at Denver, is leaving a full professorship at the University of Texas to join Harvard's faculty.

"I guess the weather is not going to be a suitable excuse," Gilbert joked yesterday during a telephone interview from Austin, where it was 72 degrees.

"There's no doubt in the mind of every scholar that Harvard is the center of the intellectual universe. It is every intellectual's dream to live at that center," Gilbert said.

Schacter said that Gilbert's appointment fills a void in the field of social cognition within Harvard's psychology department. "Dan's coming here is important," he said.

Gilbert noted that Harvard's commitment to the field was instrumental in his decision to accept the tenure offer.

"Harvard has an enormous historical commitment to experimental psychology," he said. "It's the only institution in the world that grants a Ph.D. in social psychology."

Gilbert's most recent research is in "affective forecasting," or how well people can predict their emotional reactions to future stimuli.

"It's rather like predicting the stock market," he said. "It's not easy to be right."

In addition to editing a new book. The Handbook of Social Psychology, Gilbert has written a number of non-scientific works, including. "In the Specimen Jar," a science fiction story for Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.