November 24, 2020

Dr. Richard Smith

Dr. Richard Smith

Richard L. Smith, PhD, Mark L. Reed III Distinguished Professor of statistics at the UNC College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biostatistics at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

This year 489 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

As part of the Section on Statistics, Smith was elected as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions to statistics, particularly the statistical analysis of extreme events and environmental applications including climate change and air pollution. His principal areas of research are in spatial statistics, time series analysis, extreme value theory and Bayesian statistics. Specific areas of his expertise include spatial and time series modeling of environmental pollutants, the health effects of atmospheric pollution, the statistics of global climate change and extreme values in insurance and finance.

AAAS members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution) or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 27. A virtual Fellows Forum – an induction ceremony for the new Fellows – will be held on Feb. 13, 2021.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. For additional information about AAAS, see

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