Roxane Cohen Silver
Roxane Cohen Silver has spent more than four decades studying acute and long-term psychological and physical reactions to stressful life experiences. Steve Zylius / UC Irvine

Irvine, Calif., April 24, 2024 Acclaimed psychologist Roxane Cohen Silver of the University of California, Irvine – whose groundbreaking studies on stress and coping have advanced understanding of how traumatic incidents like terror attacks, infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters affect people – has been elected a member by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The 244th class of inductees includes 250 exceptional individuals from around the globe, honored for their excellence and success in academia, the arts, industry, public policy and research.

“I am pleased to congratulate Roxane Cohen Silver on this recognition of her accomplishments,” said Hal Stern, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. “Her outstanding scholarship on the effects of stress has had a significant impact throughout the world and exemplifies the exceptional research being done at UC Irvine.”

Silver is a Distinguished Professor of psychological science, medicine and public health. She has spent over four decades studying acute and long-term psychological and physical reactions to stressful life experiences, including personal traumas such as loss, physical disability and childhood sexual victimization, as well as larger collective events like mass violence, pandemics, wars and natural disasters across the world.

Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Homeland Security and the Public Health Service. Silver has guided governments in the U.S. and abroad in the aftermath of terrorist attacks and earthquakes and has served on senior advisory committees and task forces for the Department of Homeland Security, providing insight into the psychological impact of disasters and terrorism. She has also testified twice before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology and given several briefings to policymakers at the White House and on Capitol Hill on the role of social and behavioral science research in disaster preparedness and response and the effect of the media following disasters.

“I am honored to have been elected a fellow by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,” said Silver, who has received numerous accolades for her scholarly and teaching achievements. “I have spent most of my career at UC Irvine and have received incredible support from wonderful colleagues, students, postdocs and staff here.”

With her election, she joins 37 other current and former UC Irvine scholars as Academy members.

Silver earned a Ph.D. in social psychology at Northwestern University and joined the UC Irvine faculty in 1989. She also serves as the vice provost for institutional research, assessment, and planning.

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, founded in 1780, is one of the U.S.’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening luminaries from the academic, business and government sectors to confront challenges facing the nation and the world.

Previously elected members include Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781) and Alexander Hamilton (1791) in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), and Charles Darwin (1874) in the nineteenth; Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959), Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966), and Jacques Derrida (1985) in the twentieth; and, in this century, Madeleine K. Albright (2001), Antonin Scalia (2003), Jennifer Doudna (2003), John Legend (2017), David W. Miliband (2018), Anna Deavere Smith (2019), Salman Rushdie (2022) and Xuedong Huang (2023).

Induction ceremonies for new members will take place in Cambridge, Mass., in September 2024.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UC Irvine has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UC Irvine, visit

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