Professor emeritus of anthropology H. Russell Bernard has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Above: Professor emeritus of anthropology H. Russell Bernard has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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UF Professor Emeritus Elected to National Academy of Sciences

H. Russell Bernard, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Florida, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

He was among 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 14 countries chosen in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Bernard was an anthropology professor at UF from 1979 through 2007. He served as chairman of the department from 1979 to 1990. During his time at UF, he was a guest or visiting professor at the University of Cologne in Germany, University of Michigan, University of Kent in Canterbury and the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan. Prior to UF, he was a professor at the University of Illinois, Washington State University and West Virginia University.

“Russ Bernard is a force in the field of anthropology and allied social sciences,” said Allan Burns, professor and chairman of the anthropology department. “His election to the National Academy of Sciences is a reflection of his dedication, enthusiasm, and consummate attention to the science of anthropology that is imbued with a tremendous concern for the diversity and survival of the world’s peoples.”

At UF, Bernard has been a mentor to countless graduate students, who honored him through the Dissertation Mentor Award, Burns said. “To top it off, Russ and his wife, Carole, have been mainstays of the department, making the department a welcome place for students and faculty alike,” he added.

Bernard’s focus is on cultural anthropology, which he describes as a blend of the sciences and humanities. His contributions to network analysis, especially his “N-SUM project” which provides network and statistical ways of “counting the uncountable” events such as victims of earthquakes, stigmatized diseases such as HIV in countries around the world, wars, and social conditions such as homelessness, have been used by the World Health Organization and other organizations to solve humanitarian crises.

“We need science, lots and lots of it, to help expose false ideologies like racism,” Bernard writes on his website. “And we need humanism, lots and lots of it, to provide guidance on what people across different cultures and times see is important in life.”

Bernard has held the editorship of the American Anthropologist and the journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Human Organization. He was a founder of Cultural Anthropology Methods Journal, which became the journal Field Methods. His methods text, “Research Methods in Anthropology” has gone through three editions, and his general research methods text “Social Research Methods,” has been used by tens of thousands of students.

Bernard’s election to the academy recognizes his influence not only on the field of anthropology, but also sociology, political science, public health, and epidemiology, Burns said.

He earned a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College in New York.

The National Academy of Sciences, established in 1863, is a private organization of sciences and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.

Bernard joins 11 other UF faculty as members of the academy including two anthropologists, Elizabeth Wing (Florida Museum of Natural History, professor emeritus) and Michael Moseley of the department of anthropology.



Ron Wayne,, 352-392-0186


Allan Burns,, 352-392-2253


Jane Dominguez, Communications and Outreach,, 352-846-2032

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