July 13, 2012
UCI Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Loftus is a 2012 recipient of UC Irvine’s most prestigious honor, the UCI Medal, which confers lifelong recognition on those who have made exceptional contributions to the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service. The annual Medal was first awarded in 1984 to UCI founding Chancellor Daniel G. Aldrich Jr. It was the beginning of a tradition – started by then-Chancellor Jack W. Peltason. Honorees have included Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners, authors, inventors, captains of industry, scientists and pioneers in virtually every field of endeavor.
Professor Loftus renowned for her groundbreaking work on the malleability of human memory.She holds faculty positions in the schools of Social Ecology, Social Sciences and Law. Since earning a doctorate in psychology at Stanford University, Loftus has published 22 books (including the award-winning Eyewitness Testimony) and 500 scientific articles. Her 30 years of research have focused on the misinformation effect, eyewitness fallibility, and the creation and nature of false memories. Loftus has contributed her expertise to hundreds of high-profile criminal cases, including those of Martha Stewart, the Hillside Strangler, Oliver North, Scooter Libby and Michael Jackson.
Past president of the Association for Psychological Science, she has received six honorary doctorates and been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In a list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, the journal Review of General Psychology placed Loftus at No. 58 – making her the top-ranked woman.