Photo of UCI sociology professor, Wang Feng
The population science research of demographer Wang Feng, UCI professor of sociology, results in his election to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. It’s the latest on a long list of career achievements that includes top awards from the Social Science History Association, American Sociological Association and Japanese Population Association. UCI School of Social Sciences

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, recognizes the UCI demographer for excellence in population science research with global impact. A formal induction ceremony is planned for November in Rome.

“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,” said Bill Maurer, UCI social sciences dean and professor of anthropology and law. “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.

“Wang Feng’s research traverses the bridge from demography to social change, most famously in his work undermining China’s draconian one-child policy,” said David John Frank, UCI sociology professor and department chair. “His election to the Accademia Nazionale dei 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.

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