Alumna Sandra D. Mitchell ’73 Honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Sandra D. Mitchell '71Claremont, Calif. (December 21, 2015)—Pitzer College alumna Sandra D. Mitchell ’73, an influential philosophy of science scholar, has been named a 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. This year, the AAAS Council elected 347 fellows to recognize their contributions to innovation, education and scientific leadership.

Mitchell, professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, was also recently elected to serve a two-year term as the president of the Philosophy of Science Association, which promotes research, teaching and free discussion of issues in the philosophy of science.

Mitchell’s work explores how contemporary science explains complexities in nature, such as the role genes play in psychiatric disorders and the interrelated phenomena contributing to global climate change. Her books include Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism and Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy, and she writes extensively for both science and philosophy journals.

In 2013, when Mitchell received Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award, she remarked that she “didn’t know that a life of learning was something I could do” before attending Pitzer. Since graduating from the College with a degree in philosophy, Mitchell has lived a life of learning—and teaching and writing. She serves as the only non-scientist on the Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee of the AAAS and has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin as well as the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.

Sandra D. Mitchell earned her MSc in logic, philosophy and scientific method from the London School of Economics and her PhD in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh.

The new AAAS fellows will be recognized in February at the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington DC. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people. Formed in 1848, AAAS was the first permanent organization in the US dedicated to promoting the development of science and engineering at the national level and representing the interests of all its disciplines.

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