University of Pittsburgh
November 26, 2013

Two Pitt Professors Named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

History and Philosophy of Science’s James Bogen and Biology’s Jeffrey L. Brodsky honored by science’s top organization
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John Fedele

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PITTSBURGH—Two University of Pittsburgh professors in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of their contributions to their fields.

James Bogen, a faculty member in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, and Jeffrey L. Brodsky, professor and Avinoff Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences, will be formally announced as Fellows in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 29.

They will be presented with official certificates and rosette pins during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago on Feb. 15, 2014, where 388 members will be recognized by the AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Philosopher James Bogen is being recognized for his “distinguished research in philosophy of science, including analysis of the epistemology of experimentation, mechanistic explanation, neuroimaging, and the Hodgkin-Huxley model of action potential.”

HisJames Bogen main interests have centered on questions about how scientists come to know things. He investigates the nature and interpretation of scientific evidence and how such evidence is used to develop and evaluate theories. Specific examples include studying the use of modern functional imaging techniques in neuroscience, and studying 19th-century neuroscientist Hughling Jackson’s use of observations of epileptic seizures to investigate the functional organization of the brain. Bogen has also worked on questions about causality and causal explanation, particularly in connection with the ways in which explanations in neuroscience argue against philosopher David Hume’s traditional idea that to explain a phenomenon is to derive a description of it from natural laws and descriptions of background and initial conditions. In addition, he has explored Aristotelian ideas about causality and explanation.

Bogen has published a book, Aspects of the Development of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Language (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972), and has written dozens of articles in professional journals such as Inquiry, the Philosophical Review, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

Bogen earned his BA from Pomona College and both his MA and PhD degrees in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to coming to Pitt, Bogen served as an instructor of philosophy at Oberlin College in Ohio and as a professor of philosophy at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., where he was named a professor emeritus in 2000.

Cell biologist Jeffrey L. Brodsky is being recognized for “distinguished research discoveries on the cell biology, biochemistry, and genetics of the fundamental mechanisms underlying cellular protein quality control in health and disease.”Jeffrey L. Brodsky

Brodsky’s research is devoted to understanding how proteins in the secretory pathway are subject to protein quality control and how molecular chaperones and components of the ubiquitination machinery mediate this event. His work has contributed to the discovery of the ER associated degradation (ERAD) pathway, which is associated with nearly 70 human diseases, and ongoing studies have been geared toward deciphering the mechanisms underlying this pathway using biochemical and genetic attacks in both yeast and mammalian cells.

Brodsky has written more than 150 articles for peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Genetics, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Brodsky earned his BS in biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University. He conducted postdoctoral work in molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley with Randy Schekman, who was one of this year’s Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

About the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science serving 10 million individuals. The mission of the nonprofit AAAS is to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, and science education, among other areas.

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