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The 2009 Joseph Priestley Award: Elizabeth Loftus

What's the matter with memory? Plenty, according to Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., a distinguished professor and recognized expert in the field.

Loftus explained the controversies surrounding this unreliable human resource during an Oct. 15 lecture at Dickinson College.

The author of 22 books, Loftus has researched human memory, eyewitness testimony and courtroom procedure for 20 years. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, and she has been an expert witness consultant in hundreds of cases, including the trials of the Hillside Strangler, Oliver North, the policemen who beat Rodney King, the Menendez brothers, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby and the Duke University Lacrosse players.

Loftus was awarded the 2009 Joseph Priestley Award for her contributions to society's understanding of childhood abuse and traumatic recovered memories. Named for a Pennsylvania scientist and scholar who discovered oxygen, the annual award honors distinguished scientists whose research contributes to the welfare of humankind.

Published June 5, 2013