UCI sociologist Wang Feng elected to Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
- August 2, 2022
- Induction in Italy’s National Academy of Science honors the demographer whose work has influenced population policy on a global scale
Wang Feng, UC Irvine professor of sociology, has been elected a foreign member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, one the world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific academies. The honor, bestowed to only 90 foreign members in humanities and social sciences – and only 18 in social and political sciences – recognizes the UCI demographer for excellence in population science research with global impact.
“I can imagine no better evidence of the extraordinary caliber of professor Wang Feng’s decades of research on population dynamics and policies in China than this recognition by the Italian academy,” says Bill Maurer, social sciences dean and anthropology and law professor. “While his scholarly peers celebrate his achievements, and laypeople can learn from his insights published with regularity in venues like The New York Times or The Washington Post, those of us who see him in the halls appreciate most of all his modesty and enduring generosity of spirit.”
For nearly four decades, Wang Feng has employed a variety of methodologies from surveys to statistical data analysis to study global population shifts and policies and social inequalities in China. He’s penned more than 100 articles and 11 books that explore China’s history, society, rising inequality, family trends, and more. He’s served as an expert for the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum. Most notably, his academic research and public advocacy played an instrumental role in overturning China’s harmful decades-old one-child per couple policy. His research has earned him top awards from the Social Science History Association, American Sociological Association and Japanese Population Association. An elected member of the Sociological Research Association, Wang Feng was recognized in May with the UCI Lauds & Laurels Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement.
“Wang Feng's research traverses the bridge from demography to social change, most famously in his work undermining China's draconian one-child policy,” says David John Frank, sociology professor and department chair. “His election to the Accademia Nazionale die Lincei signifies the global impact of Wang Feng's extraordinary achievements.”
Wang Feng has recently turned his full attention to inequality in China, a topic he’s explored over the years alongside his one-child policy work. His newest book - China’s Age of Abundance: Origins, Ascendance, and Aftermath – explores the country’s rise to material abundance, present predicaments, and future challenges due to internally driven demographic, economic, and political problems.
A formal induction ceremony is planned for November in Rome.