Commencement Forum on Quality of Life Brings in Big Names in Field of Science

Claremont, CA, April 30, 2007 --( Some of the most influential names in science are coming to Claremont Graduate University for a forum entitled, “Science and the Quality of Life.” The May 11 event is considered groundbreaking within the field of psychology, as three people who have impacted policy will join psychology proponents for a daylong discussion into how the sciences can be used to help people reach a higher quality of life.

The event is being organized by Claremont Graduate University’s School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences. The forum will include:

Richard Atkinson—past President of the University of California system and former director of the National Science Foundation.

Alan Leshner—CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes Science magazine) and former director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Diane Halpern—Director of the Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children, and past President of the American Psychological Association.

Faye Wattleton—President of the Center for the Advancement of Women and past President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Lawrence Erlbaum—Founder and President of LEA Associates, which has published many influential books on psychology.

Associate Dean Kathy Pezdek said the panelists all have had a role in giving science a critical role in changing policy. For instance, Atkinson was prominent in taking existing data and using it to make the case for a revision of the SAT tests. Halpern has been instrumental in digitizing research on psychology on the internet, where it is available for use. And Waddleton used already established data on healthy development to help kids make good choices.

Leshner (Science magazine) and Erlbaum (publishing) have allowed for a diversity of voices to emerge from the field of psychology over the years.

“Bringing these individuals together will help clarify for practitioners, scientists and policy makers how Science can be used to improve the quality of life,” Pezdek said.

The daylong event will take place at Galileo Hall (1250 N. Dartmouth Avenue in Claremont, CA) from 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. For more information, call (909) 607-9016 or visit

Claremont Graduate University
Nikolaos Johnson