Professor Nicolas Rasmussen, from UNSW Arts and Social Sciences, has been elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in recognition of his distinguished achievement in the humanities disciplines.

A historian of modern life sciences, Professor Rasmussen has a keen interest in the history of pharmaceuticals, drug abuse, and clinical trials. His research has dealt with the history of molecular biology in post-war America, including interactions between biomedical scientists and pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Rasmussen’s current project focuses on obesity research and public health policy in the 1950s USA, with his most recent book entitled Fat in the Fifties: America's First Obesity Crisis.

Professor Rasmussen was principal investigator on several Australian Research Council and National Science Foundation (US) grants. Prior to joining UNSW Sydney, Professor Rasmussen held teaching and research positions at Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, UCLA and Sydney University.

President of the Academy Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA congratulated 25 leading figures elected in total.

“In our 50th anniversary year, I am honoured to welcome the new members of our Fellowship,” Professor Damousi said. “Those elected demonstrate the richness and diversity of the humanities in Australia today.”

Fellows are elected by their peers in recognition of the excellence and impact of their scholarship in fields including culture, history, languages, linguistics, philosophy and ethics, archaeology and heritage.

Julia Jones