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Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences: Julia Lynch
December 11, 2007, Volume 54, No. 15



Dr. Julia Lynch, assistant professor in the department of political science, has been named the Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences, SAS Dean Rebecca W. Bushnell has announced. Dr. Lynch’s research primarily focuses on the politics of inequality, social policy, and the economy in comparative perspective, with a focus on the countries of Western Europe. 

She is the author of Age in the Welfare State: The Origins of Social Spending on Pensioners, Workers, and Children, which was awarded the 2007 prize for the best book on European politics from the American Political Science Association. She currently holds an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for her project “What’s Fair in Health Care? Thinking with Americans about Inequalities in Health and Health Care,” which explores how the public forms beliefs about which kinds of inequalities are unfair and which are permissible.  She is also collecting data for a new book exploring changes since the 1950s in attention paid by policy elites to health inequalities in the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Dr. Lynch came to Penn in 2001 and has also recently been named a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University. She holds a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University. Her dissertation, The Age of Welfare: Citizens, Clients and Generations in the Development of the Modern Welfare State won the American Political Science Association’s Gabriel Almond Award for best dissertation in comparative politics, 2001-2002.

The Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professorship was established in 1972 by Janice Smith Bers, who earned her BA in elementary education from Penn in 1939, and her husband, the late Julian S. Bers, W ’31. It recognizes assistant professors who demonstrate outstanding promise as teachers and scholars in the social sciences. Mr. Bers was the head of the Imperial Metal and Chemical Company, and he also served as a University Trustee and Trustee of the Penn Health System. He was honored with the Alumni Award of Merit in 1968. Mr. Bers died in 1998.



Almanac - December 11, 2007, Volume 54, No. 15