back to news May 5, 2016

Clark Spencer Larsen Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Clark Spencer Larsen, distinguished professor of social and behavioral sciences and chair, Department of Anthropology, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious honors an American scholar can receive. On May 3, the academy announced the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

“Professor Larsen has dedicated his career and scholarship to deepening our understanding of the human condition,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “I am thrilled that another Ohio State scientist will be sharing his expertise more broadly as a National Academy member.”

Larsen’s primary work is in the history of the human condition, viewed from the perspective of health, quality of life, adaptation and lifestyle during the last 10,000 years of human evolution. He directs the La Florida Bioarchaeology Project, involving the collaboration of scientists from the United States and elsewhere. He co-directs the Global History of Health Project, involving scientists from around the world, with current focus on the study of skeletons from Europe. Larsen is also co-director of the Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarcheaology at Badia Pozzeveri (Lucca, Italy), an academic program aimed at training students in archaeological and bioarchaeoloigcal field and lab methods.  He co-directs the study of the human remains from Catalhoyuk (Turkey), an early farming community dating to 9,000 years ago.

Larsen is the author of Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology, one of the most widely used textbooks in the field.

Larsen received his BA in anthropology from Kansas State University and an MA in anthropology and a PhD in biological anthropology from the University of Michigan. He served as president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

He joins 10 other Ohio State faculty who are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Clark Spencer Larsen