FAU Professor Admitted to The Royal Irish Academy

J.A. Scott Kelso, Ph.D. (center), with his eldest son, Jason Patrick, and his sister Sandra in the garden of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

By kelsie weekes | 6/14/2017

J.A. Scott Kelso, Ph.D., a professor of psychology, biological sciences and biomedical science at Florida Atlantic University, recently was admitted to The Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Ireland’s leading body of experts in sciences and humanities. Membership is awarded to persons who have made considerable contributions to education and research.

Kelso is one of five new honorary members of the RIA, which also included one Nobel laureate. Honorary membership is given to academics who have had a major international contribution to their discipline but do not normally reside in Ireland. Kelso, who grew up in Derry, Ireland, said he never could have dreamed this was possible.

“When you look at the list of famous scientists, writers and scholars who have been elected members of the RIA, you have to pinch yourself that the list now includes you,” he said.

Kelso is a Pierre de Fermat laureate, a prestigious French honor conferred by an international panel of scientists. He also won the Bernstein Prize in 2011, the highest award given by the International Society of Motor Control, and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kelso currently holds the Glenwood and Martha Creech Eminent Scholar Chair in Science in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, where he studies brain imaging, behavioral methods and dynamic modeling to understand the brain on multiple levels, from cells to cognition and social behavior. In 1985, Kelso founded FAU’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, a multi-disciplinary research and teaching unit dedicated to understanding complex behavior and answering the most profound questions of brain, mind, consciousness and behavior.

 “I came to FAU 30 years ago to do something I could not do anywhere else – to blend the emerging concepts, methods and tools of complex systems with the behavioral and brain sciences,” he said. “It would not have been possible if the vision was not shared by the state of Florida and FAU, and their sustained support is something I’m very grateful for. That, and continuous federal and international funding for my research, has allowed me to do what I wanted to do.”

For more information on FAU’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, visit www.ccs.fau.edu/.