School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

Linguistics Professor elected Fellow of world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society

Congratulations to Professor Antonella Sorace who has been honoured by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Antonella Sorace

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals. The AAAS has individual members in more than 91 countries around the globe with the mission of advancing science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all.

Each year, the Council elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications, are scientifically or socially distinguished.” The Council elects Fellows deliberately and carefully to preserve the honour attached to this recognition.

Professor Sorace’s election is in recognition of her contributions to the science of multilingualism, and for creating a scalable global model for bringing the science of multilingualism to public and policy spheres.

Her research broadly focuses on how individual language knowledge develops and changes over the lifespan, particularly in the presence of more than one language. In the course of this work she has introduced new experimental methodologies for exploring speakers’ knowledge and has made important theoretical contributions regarding the variability or “gradience” of much linguistic behaviour. Her more recent work has dealt extensively with the effects of bilingualism on general cognition.

In 2008 she founded Bilingualism Matters as a local information service for parents and teachers. It quickly grew to involve engagement with policy makers and other professionals, and within a few years it had already inspired the establishment of several branches in other European countries and in North America. Since then, the model of public engagement developed in Edinburgh has been replicated in more than thirty Bilingualism Matters centres around the world, carrying out similar work in their own communities.

I am delighted to receive this honour from AAAS, which not only recognises the value of research on multilingualism but also highlights the ongoing importance of making research accessible to society.

Professor Antonella Sorace

I’m delighted to see Professor Sorace’s groundbreaking work on multilingualism, and her contribution to increasing understanding of this important topic among the public and policymakers, recognised by her election to this prestigious society.

Professor Holly BraniganHead of School

Professor Sorace’s fellowship will be made official at a Gala celebrating the 150th anniversary of the AAAS Fellows program this September at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

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