Eileen Crimmins Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The prestigious honorary society recognizes exceptional individuals from academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research and engages them in addressing significant global and national challenges.

Noted demographer Eileen Crimmins has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAA&S), the prestigious honorary society which recognizes exceptional individuals from academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research and engages them in addressing significant global and national challenges. 

Crimmins, a USC University Professor and the AARP Professor of Gerontology at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, is among 261 national and international scholars newly elected to the academy, a group which also includes USC Distinguished Professor Manuel Pastor, author Salman Rushdie, and actor Glenn Close. With this honor, Crimmins becomes the only USC faculty member to be selected for membership to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. She is also the first Leonard Davis School faculty member to be elected to AAA&S; including Crimmins and Pastor, 37 USC faculty members have now received this distinction.

“Membership in the academy is one of the highest possible honors to receive and I am thrilled to be included among this diverse and distinguished group of thinkers and creators,” said Crimmins. “As a demographer, I am particularly excited to engage with people who approach improving the quality of our lives from so many different directions.”

Crimmins is a senior fellow of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, director of the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health, co-leader of USC’s Multidisciplinary Research Training in Gerontology Program and is also a co-investigator of the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. 

A USC faculty member since 1982, she has led decades of research focused on how health changes over the life cycle. Crimmins is a pioneer in developing and modeling the concept of healthy life expectancy to examine trends in population health, and she has been instrumental in organizing and promoting the paradigm-shifting field of biodemography, the inclusion of biological data in large population surveys. Her studies about the benefits of education, differences in chronological and biological age, and how and why American lifespans are now falling short of those in other wealthy nations have inspired research, informed the public and influenced policy. 

“We all benefit from Eileen’s decades of pioneering research on understanding risk factors and protective behaviors that contribute to the aging process,” said Pinchas Cohen, dean of the USC Leonard Davis School. “Her immense contributions as a scholar, teacher and mentor simply cannot be overstated and I am delighted the AAA&S recognized the impact of her work.”

Among her other honors, Crimmins is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Gerontological Society of America’s Robert W. Kleemeier Award for outstanding gerontology research and the Population Association of America’s Irene B. Taeuber Award, considered to be the most prestigious award in the field of demography. She has been listed as one of the world’s most influential scientific minds in social sciences by media and information firm Thomson Reuters and is in the top 1% of cited scientists, according to an analysis from Stanford University researchers.

Her USC honors include receiving the Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship, being named a University Professor, and receiving the 2022 Provost’s Mentoring Award. 

Past AAA&S inductees include statesman Alexander Hamilton, former U.S. President Barack Obama, poet Robert Frost and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. A full list of the 2022 class of elected members can be found on the academy’s website.

“I am grateful to be included among such luminaries and credit countless colleagues and collaborators as being key to my success,” said Crimmins. “The forward-thinking and multidisciplinary environment at the USC Leonard Davis School inspires and motivates me and my work.”