1993 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award

Urie Bronfenbrenner

Cornell University

Urie Bronfenbrenner is the embodiment of all that a great scientist ought to be. In his half century as a psychologist, Urie has been unequalled in his theoretical contributions and his ability to translate them into rigorous operational research models. Focusing on the interaction processes between the organism and its environment, his books and articles have been widely translated, and his students and colleagues number among the most influential developmental psychologists today not only in this country but abroad. His imprint on the field of developmental psychology will be felt for generations to come.

Urie is that rare breed of scientist-citizen, motivated and able to employ rigorous developmental science to analyze critical societal problems, and to apply what has been learned for designing social programs and strategies that can foster the well-being and psychological development of children, youth, and adults.

To end at the beginning, Urie’s life work in psychology has illustrated the truth of that oft-quoted aphorism of his later extracurricular mentor, Kurt Lewin, “There is nothing more practical than a good theory.”