It’s been a pretty good year for University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson. She became the first psychologist (and the first UW scientist) to receive the National Science Foundation’s prestigious $1 million Waterman award, and the first woman to win it since 2004. And now she’s been awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.
Olson’s early research focused on how children come to understand inequality, bias, and social groups, and over the past few years, she’s woven those interests together in the TransYouth Project, the first large-scale US study of transgender children. The study launched in 2013, and Olson aims to follow a group of 300 children for 20 years to better understand their social and cognitive development.
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