Professor Emeritus Dr. William Lovis named AAAS Fellow, selected for Steering Committee

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that Professor Emeritus Dr. William Lovis has been recognized as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

Dr. Lovis was recognized as a fellow of the AAAS earlier this year, along with four other Michigan State University researchers.

Lovis was selected as an AAAS fellow for his significant contributions to archaeological research, collections stewardship, and student and public education.

Lovis said the recognition has significant meaning because he has been a member of the AAAS since graduate school, which was more than 50 years ago.

“First of all, it’s really very pleasing to be recognized by my colleagues and peers for what I’ve achieved in my career,” Lovis said. “I have a lot of gratitude for having been conferred that honor . . . “

In addition to Lovis’ recognition as a fellow, he was also selected to serve on the Steering Committee for the Anthropology Section (H) of the AAAS.

Given his record of leadership, experience, and expertise in the management of professional organizations, Dr. Lovis will collaborate with other Steering Committee members in the multi-year Anthropology Section transition to a new organization-wide AAAS Governance Modernization Project.

In fact, part of Lovis’ role on the Steering Committee is to select AAAS fellows for next year, a challenge to which he is looking forward.

“Not having been through the process at the other end, this is going to be a learning year for me, too,” Lovis said. “But part of it is knowing who among my colleagues is doing useful, recognized work that other people are using and where they’re making an impact on the discipline in a visible way.”

Dr. Lovis is pleased about his selection and looks forward to the exciting opportunity of moving anthropology forward in one of the nation’s oldest national scientific societies.

“A lot of what I’ve done professionally is very much aligned with many of the goals of the AAAS, and I think that was part of why I was recognized; there is a pretty tight alignment there,” Lovis said.

“Then the other part of it is that I’ve worked diligently in an interdisciplinary fashion to insert more natural and biological science into the kind of archaeology that we’re doing.”

Lovis said given today’s need for scientific experts to fight the “war on science,” he is happy to offer his time and experience to something in which he believes.

“The scientific basis for knowledge is under a fair amount of stress at this point, and I think it’s essential that we don’t let that continue,” Lovis said.

“This is an opportunity to assist in working effectively to bring to the public the notion that science is actually useful, and something that can benefit their lives, rather than something that you undermine and see as more of an ideological problem. Providing a better understanding of science to the public will assist in moving us in this more positive direction.”

Photo credit: Derrick L. Turner