Three Faculty Members Named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

Issue Date: 
January 31, 2011
Geoffrey C. BowkerGeoffrey C. Bowker
Beth FischerBeth Fischer
Barry GoldBarry Gold

Three University of Pittsburgh faculty members were named 2011 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for contributions to advancing their respective fields.

The Pitt honorees were among 503 Fellows selected this year, joining faculty from such other institutions of higher education as Columbia University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, and Washington University at St. Louis. The Fellows will be honored Feb. 19 during AAAS’ annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Information on the Fellows from Pitt follows.

Geoffrey C. Bowker, professor and senior scholar of cyberscholarship in Pitt’s School of Information Sciences, was honored as a Fellow in Information, Computing, and Communication for his distinguished contributions to the social study of science and technology, particularly how scientists work and collaborate using technology. Bowker focuses his research on the use of the Internet and other digital resources in scientific research and discussion. He works with scholars to uncover ways in which new forms of knowledge are (or could be) generated by the creative use of these resources. Currently, Bowker studies distributed scientific work, focusing on how researchers and institutions organize electronically to share information. He participates in the Comparative Interoperability Project, which focuses on the central question of how to share data across multiple and different disciplines, organizations, and locations. Bowker has authored or coauthored numerous journal articles and three books, including Memory Practices in Science, 1830-1990 (MIT Press, 2006), for which he received the 2007 Ludwig Fleck Prize for Best Book in Science, Technology, and Society, as well as the Best Information Science Book Award from the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Bowker received his PhD degree in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Melbourne in 1984.

Beth Fischer, an assistant professor of family medicine in Pitt’s School of Medicine and director of Pitt’s Survival Skills and Ethics Program, was named a Fellow in Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering for her vision and distinguished contributions to promote and enhance professionalism, responsible research, and diversity within the national and international scientific communities. Fischer combines her diverse background in science, communication, and education with experience in neuroscience research to run an annual trainer-of-trainers conference. Now in its 17th year, the conference provides faculty with the materials and instruction to carry out workshops on research ethics and professional development for scientists ranging from undergraduate students to senior faculty and administrators. Her particular interest is in building research capacity in low-resource environments, and she has provided instruction to scientists in Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia. Fischer has been a consultant to such organizations as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity, the Institute of Medicine, the World Bank, and the Society for Neuroscience, as well as to a number of institutes within the National Institutes of Health. She has contributed to many journals and books, including a chapter on ethics in science published in the Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, Vol. 4 (Academic Press, 1998). Fischer received her PhD degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is a visiting professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Barry Gold, a professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy and codirector of Pitt’s Drug Discovery Institute, was named a Fellow of Pharmaceutical Sciences for his distinguished contributions to the fields of cancer pharmacology, environmental carcinogenesis, and medicinal chemistry. His research interests are related to designing, synthesizing, and characterizing small-molecule anticancer drugs, particularly those that influence DNA repair pathways. Gold also is involved with efforts to increase the number of underrepresented groups in science. He has served as a mentor for high school teachers as part of the mentoring program of the Society for the Advancement of Native Americans and Chicanos in Science and is on the minority affairs committee of the Biophysical Society. Gold has been the lead inventor for three patents and has published more than100 peer-reviewed papers. In 2008, he served as chair of the 31st National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium that was held in Pittsburgh. Gold is on the editorial advisory boards of the reference series Burger’s Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery (Wiley) and the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry. He received his PhD degree in organic chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1971 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto from 1971 to 1973, concentrating on natural products.