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David R. Williams

Making America Healthier: What Can Each of Us Do?

November 17, 2013

David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. His first 6 years as a faculty member were at Yale University where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health.

He is internationally recognized as a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, racial discrimination, socioeconomic status and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health. The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies. He is the author of more than 250 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He has served on the editorial board of 12 scientific journals and as a reviewer for over 60 journals. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, he was one of the Top 10 Most Cited Researchers in the Social Sciences during the decade 1995 to 2005. The Journal of Black Issues in Higher Education, ranked him as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences in 2008. In 2001, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, he received one of the inaugural Decade of Behavior Research Awards, and in 2007, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.