Skip to content Skip to navigation

Gilens Inducted into AAAS

Nov 16 2015

Posted In:


Current CASBS fellow Martin Gilens was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) at a ceremony on October 10, 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1780, AAAS is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, and currently includes about 4,600 members.


[Gilens'] work examines the psychological and sociological bases of public opinion and the impact of public opinion on public policy. Why Americans Hate Welfare (1999) is a much-cited landmark, synthesizing and contributing to scholarly literatures on the mass media, racial politics, and social policy by demonstrating that white Americans' attitudes toward welfare are shaped by misperceptions of black beneficiaries grounded in biased media portrayals of welfare recipients stemming from journalists' own professional values, perceptions, and work routines. Affluence and Influence (2012) provides the most detailed and authoritative study to date of the unequal political influence of affluent, middle-class, and poor Americans. Using an enormous data base of public opinion polls covering hundreds of policy issues over twenty-five years, he shows that the average policy preferences of these income groups sometimes differ substantially; that in cases of disagreement, actual policy is much more likely to track the preferences of affluent citizens than of poor or middle-class citizens, and that these apparent disparities in political influence vary by issue domain, era, and the proximity of elections.

Gilens Cutting Cake

Gilens was among 34 social science scholars inducted, and among six in the political science, international relations, and public policy disciplines. In its citation of merit, AAAS noted the following:

“Induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a tremendous honor that I will aspire to live up to,” says Gilens, a professor of politics at Princeton University. “Since its founding, the Academy has been instrumental in bringing scientific expertise to bear on issues of public importance. My hope is that membership in the Academy will facilitate my own efforts to bring my research and the insights of my discipline to the public discussion of politics and inequality in America.”

On October 27 Gilens’s cohort of CASBS fellows held a celebration in his honor. Gilens is the latest of nearly 150 CASBS fellows inducted into AAAS over the Center’s 61-year history.

Gilens Cake