Stanford professor wins MacArthur 'genius grant'

Jennifer Eberhardt named one of 21 MacArthur Fellows

A Stanford professor who conducts research on race and inequality is among the 21 winners of the 2014 MacArthur Foundation's "genius grant."

Jennifer L. Eberhardt, 49, is a social psychologist probing the complex and unconscious ways that people racially code and categorize individuals. Eberhardt is especially interested in studying the associations between race and crime, according to her personal website.

"Through collaborations with experts in criminology, law, and anthropology, as well as novel studies that engage law enforcement and jurors, Eberhardt is revealing new insights about the extent to which race imagery and judgments suffuse our culture and society," according to the MacArthur Foundation website.

Eberhardt will receive $625,000 to further her research and creative vision.

Each year, the MacArthur Foundation recognizes individuals with "a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future," according to its website.

"Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life's work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives and better our world," said Cecilia Conrad, vice president of the MacArthur Fellows Program, in a press release. "Together, they expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination."

Other 2014 winners include a physicist, cartoonist and graphic memoirist, civil rights lawyer, housing advocate and documentary filmmaker.

To view a video of Eberhardt and learn about the other winners, visit the MacArthur Foundation website.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


1 person likes this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

The work done by Jennifer Eberhardt is very important to everyone. Particularly those who seem to not want to talk about their real attitudes. People like to complain about how racist everyone else is, but me? No I'm perfect. Her work is a greatly needed first step towards actually doing something constructive about America's racial problems. You might recall that Martin Luther King Jr. said and wrote "Most Americans are unconscious racists." My view is that academics are far more trustworthy on this topic than most of the rest of us, including our most trusted public officials. The beleagered legal system, for example, typically takes only the worst cases to prosecute, drags them out interminably, makes sure law enforcement gets all the protection it asks for, and stands mute on the moral questions raised, and as a result increases the resentment people already feel on any of these issues. The supreme court is so conservative that the end result works like prohibition--enforcement makes the problem worse. I think she deserves the award. Wish more people were in agreement.

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Congratulations to Jennifer Eberhardt. I hope I can find out more about here work.

The most revolutionary McArthur fellow that I have found out about is Stanford professor Dr. Robert Sapolsky, author of quite a few books about neurology, stress, status and society ... among primates. There are some fascinating and ground-breaking ideas presented by Sapolsky in some videos on You-Tube which I urge anyone interested in sociological change to look into. He has several ideas which will change your whole world view.

In terms of equality, begin by checking out a documentary called "Unnatural Causes" at this website:
Web Link


Robert Sapolsky is a neuroendocrinologist who examines the mechanisms by which stress can damage the brain.

His work focuses on the ability of glucocorticoids, a class of hormones secreted during stress, to damage neurons of the hippocampus, an area of the brain critical to learning and memory. Having shown that glucocorticoids can damage the hippocampus in both rodents and primates, Sapolsky is investigating the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. His studies examine whether or not the same occurs in the hippocampus of the human brain, with potential implications for neurogerontology and Alzheimer’s disease. Since 1978, Sapolsky has spent part of each year studying a troop of wild baboons in an East African national reserve. His findings suggest that personality is a more important correlate of disease patterns than social rank. He is the author of Stress, the Aging Brain, and the Mechanisms of Neuron Death (1992), Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: A Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping (3rd ed., 2004), and The Trouble with Testosterone: And Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament (1997).

Sapolsky is the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology, and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University.

Sapolsky received an A.B. (1978) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (1984) from Rockefeller University.

- See more at: Web Link

1 person likes this
Posted by Iluminato
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Midtowner, how right you are!

Congratulations to Prof. Eberhardt! What interesting work she has done. Best wishes for continued success.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

First Sunnyvale, then Australia: Mountain View's Le Plonc plots expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,480 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 36 comments | 1,992 views

Premarital and Couples: Living as Roommates?
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,438 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 802 views

A trial run
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 543 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.