Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus holds the title of Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She has a joint appointment in two departments: Psychology & Social Behavior and Criminology, Law and Society. Prior to moving to UCI, she was a faculty member at the University of Washington in Seattle for 29 years.

Dr. Loftus received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then she has published 20 books and more than 350 scientific articles. Eyewitness Testimony was published by Harvard University Press, and won the National Media Award for Distinguished Contribution from the American Psychological Foundation. One of her most widely read books, The Myth of Repressed Memory (co-authored with Katherine Ketcham) was published by St. Martin's Press and has been translated into Dutch, Taiwanese, French, German, Japanese, and other foreign languages.

She has also served in many professional organizations. She was the 1984 president of the Western Psychological Association; the 1985 president of the American Psychology-Law Society (Div. 41 of American Psychological Association [APA]); and the 1988 president of Division 3 (Experimental) of the APA. Finally, she was president of the American Psychological Society during l998-l999.

Dr. Loftus' research during the last 20 years has focused on human memory, eyewitness testimony, and courtroom procedure. She has been an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases, including the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of Oliver North, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Michael Jackson case, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and the trial of the Marines accused of culpable negligence when they severed the cables of a ski-lift while flying in the Italian Alps. She has also worked on numerous cases involving allegations of "repressed memories," such as those involving George Franklin of San Mateo, California; Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago; Gary Ramona of Napa, California; and Jacob Beard, who was accused of the "Rainbow Murders" in West Virginia. The National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation have funded her work.

For her work, Dr. Loftus has received four honorary doctorates for her research: in 1982 from Miami University in Ohio; in 1990 from Leiden University in the Netherlands; in 1994 from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City; and in 1998 from the University of Portsmouth in England.

In addition to the honorary degrees, Dr. Loftus has been recognized for her research by professional organizations. In 1995 she received the Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology Award from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. In l996 she received the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology Award for Distinguished Contribution to Basic and Applied Scientific Psychology. In 1997 she received the American Psychological Society's James McKeen Cattell Fellow, which is given "for a career of significant intellectual contributions to the science of psychology in the area of applied psychological research." She received the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society in 2001 for "ingeniously and rigorously designed research studies…that yielded clear objective evidence on difficult and controversial questions." Last year the Review of General Psychology published a listing of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century, and Dr. Loftus was the highest-ranked woman at No. 58.

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