Binghamton honorees were: Christopher Fynsk, chair of comparative literature; Steven J. Lynn, professor of psychology; Krishnaswami Srihari, director of the University’s electronics manufacturing research and services and associate director of the Integrated Electronics Engineering Center, a state designated Center for Advanced Technology; and David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences.
“Binghamton University is proud to see the strengths of its faculty recognized by the chancellor,” said Bahgat Sammakia, interim vice president for research. “These particular honorees represent much of what is best about Binghamton ” expertise, imagination and a commitment to scholarship and discovery across the disciplines. Each is a standout in his field.”
Fynsk is an internationally renowned Heidegger scholar. He teaches comparative literature and philosophy and is also a professor of continental philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. His research interests include modern literature and philosophy, psychoanalysis, and contemporary art, and his current research is devoted to philosophy of language.
Lynn studies the clinical applications of cognitive psychology, experimental psychopathology, hypnosis, memory, trauma and risk prevention, dissociation, science vs. pseudoscience and forensic psychology.
His current projects include memory in hypnotic and non-hypnotic situations; sexual assault models and traumatic sexualization; self-mutilation and suicide; and a National Institute of Mental Health funded study of the modification of hypnotic suggestibility.
He is a forensic consultant to attorneys and courts on eyewitness testimony, repressed memories, competence and insanity and his work is regularly cited in professional journals and the popular press.
Srihari’s specialty is manufacturing systems engineering, and his expertise in electronics manufacturing has earned him an international reputation in electronics packaging. Research projects under his direction have resulted in innovative technologies at leading international companies, among them Solectron, Motorola and Texas Instruments.
Srihari’s research has garnered multi-millions in external funding and is at the heart of multiple industrial partnerships.
Wilson is an evolutionary biologist whose work in the area of multilevel selection theory is noted for turning heads and changing minds. His most recent book, Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion and the Nature of Society, takes the radical step of proposing an evolutionary theory of religion that shakes both evolutionary biology and social theory at their foundations. Wilson’s approach is to nurture the thought that if society is considered a single organism, then the notions of morality and religion can be considered as “biologically and culturally evolved adaptations that enable human groups to function as single units rather than as mere collections of individuals.”
Wilson is best known for his work suggesting that altruism and other pro-social behaviors evolve because they benefit whole groups, despite being selectively disadvantageous within groups.