We are delighted to announce that the following academics will be giving keynote addresses at the conference:

Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Loftus 

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine.  She holds positions in the Departments of Psychology & Social Behavior, and Criminology, Law & Society.  And she is Professor of Law.

Loftus received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Psychology from UCLA, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 23 books and over 500 scientific articles.  Her books have been translated into Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and other foreign languages.

Loftus’s research has focused on human memory, eyewitness testimony and also on courtroom procedure. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. She was elected president of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Western Psychological Association (twice), the American Psychology-Law Society, and the Experimental Psychology division of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Loftus has received seven honorary doctorates for her research, from universities in the United States, but also The Netherlands, Great Britain, Israel and Norway.  Her other honors and awards are numerous.  She has won both of the top awards from APS (the James McKeen Cattell Fellow in 1997 and the Williams James Fellow Award in 2001).

In 2003, the same year that she received the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Applications of Psychology, she was also elected to membership of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.  In 2004 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.  In 2005, she won the Grawemeyer Prize in Psychology (to honor ideas of “great significance and impact.”)  Also in 2005 she was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which is Scotland’s national academy of sciences and letters, established in 1783.  In 2006, she was elected to the American Philosophical Society, which is the oldest learned society in the United States, Est. 1745 by Benjamin Franklin.  In 2009 she received the Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and Law Award from the American Psychology-Law Society.  In 2010, she received the Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (for “significant contributions to the understanding of the phenomenology of human memory, especially its fragility and vulnerability to distortion”).  She also received the 2010 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (for “the profound impact that her pioneering research on human memory has had on the administration of justice in the United States and abroad.”).  In 2012, she received the University of California, Irvine Medal (for “exceptional contributions to the vision, mission, and spirit of UC Irvine”), the highest honor the university bestows.  In 2013, she received the Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science from the American Psychological Foundation (for ”extraordinary contributions to our understanding of memory during the past 40 years that are remarkable for their creativity and impact”).

Loftus has been an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases, including the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of Oliver North, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and litigation involving Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, and the Duke University Lacrosse players.


Professor Neil Brewer

Neil Brewer is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Flinders University and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Association of Psychological Science.

His early research was on processing speed, intelligence and development.  In the late 1990s his research focus shifted to the forensic area, addressing a variety of eyewitness memory issues and shaping our understanding of the significance of eyewitness confidence.  His recent research has also explored the relationship between Theory of Mind Deficits, criminality and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

His eyewitness memory research has been funded by the Australian Research Council since 1998, with the results published in many of the most prestigious generalist psychology journals as well as the various specialist psychology and law journals.  He has co-authored and edited several books, including Crime and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Myths and Mechanisms (2015, Kingsley), Psychology and Law: An Empirical Perspective (2005, Guilford), Psychology and Policing (1995, Erlbaum), Conflict Management in Police-Citizen Interactions (1998, McGraw-Hill).  He has been the primary supervisor of 15 PhD graduates in the eyewitness memory area.

He regularly addresses judges’ and magistrates’ conferences in Australia, and provides advice on police operational procedures and legislation associated with eyewitness identification.  He has also been involved in Amicus Briefs for courts in the US.

He has served on the editorial boards of all the major international psychology-law journals and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the APA’s Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.


Scientia Professor Richard Bryant

Richard Bryant is Scientia Professor of Psychology, University of New South Wales, NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, and Director of the Traumatic Stress Clinic, Westmead Hospital, Sydney.  He has published over 500 articles on trauma, anxiety, and memory.  He has authored the leading text on acute stress disorder and served on both the DSM-5 and ICD-11 committees rewriting the new diagnoses for PTSD.  He has received multiple research grants from the NHMRC and ARC. His work has focused on the assessment and treatment of trauma reactions, as well as the cognitive and biological mechanisms underpinning traumatic stress. He has done many laboratory and naturalistic studies of memory following trauma and mapped how these processes impact on how people respond psychologically to a traumatic experience. In June 2016 he received an Order of Australia for eminent service to medical research in the field of psychotraumatology, as a psychologist and author, to the study of Indigenous mental health, as an advisor to a range of government and international organisations, and to professional societies.


Professor Maryanne Garry

Maryanne Garry received her PhD in 1993 from the University of Connecticut, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Washington, and in 1996 moved to Victoria University of Wellington, where she is now a Professor of Psychology.

She studies a  puzzle of memory: how is that otherwise intelligent, rational people can remember things they never really saw, or experiences they never really had? Over the years, she has amassed a solid body of theoretically-grounded applied research that helps us shed light on the causes and consequences of these false memories.

Although Garry’s research is widely cited both in her own discipline and in the allied disciplines of law and clinical psychology, it is also accessible enough to feature in myriad undergraduate textbooks, in popular books written for an educated lay audience, and on numerous television and radio documentaries.


Professor Qi Wang

Qi Wang is a professor in human development at Cornell University. Her research integrates developmental, cognitive, and sociocultural perspectives to examine the mechanisms responsible for the development of autobiographical memory. She has undertaken extensive studies to examine how cultural variables sustain autobiographical memory by affecting information processing at the level of the individual and by shaping social practices of remembering between individuals (e.g., sharing memory narratives between parents and children). Her other lines of work include the study of future thinking in cultural contexts and the investigation of the influence of social media on memory reconstruction. A graduate of Peking University, China, Qi Wang earned a Ph.D. in psychology in 2000 at Harvard University. She then joined the Cornell human development faculty as an assistant professor and was made a full professor in 2011. She has received many honors and awards, including the Young Scientist Award from the International Society for Study of Behavioral Development (2006), the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Early Research from the Society for Research in Child Development (2005), and the Outstanding Contribution to Research Award from SRCD Asian Caucus (2013). Her research has been frequently published in scientific journals and in volumes of collected works. Her first book, The Autobiographical Self in Time and Culture, a study that shows how the self that is made of memories of the personal past is formed and shaped by micro and macros cultural processes, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press.


J. Don Read Early Career Award Recipient 2015
Associate Professor Jason Chan

Jason Chan earned his B.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada, where he completed an honors thesis with Steve Lindsay.  He worked as a lab manager for Mike Masson and Daniel Bub the following year.  He obtained his Ph.D. in 2007 from Washington University in St. Louis under the guidance of Kathleen McDermott and joined the faculty at Iowa State University the same year, where he has remained since.  Dr. Chan has received numerous honors for his research and teaching, including the Shakeshaft Master Teacher Award and the J. Don Read Early Career Award.

Dr. Chan’s research on human memory, particularly his work on  retrieval processes in the context of education and eyewitness testimony, has been published in some of the top journals in the field. He currently serves on the editorial board of JEP: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, JEP: Applied, and Journal of Memory & Language.  Dr. Chan’s research focuses on improving memory performance in both the educational and legal contexts.  His work on retrieval practice and its benefits for memory retention has been widely cited, and this work also led to the discovery that prior retrieval can increase eyewitness’ susceptibility to later presented misinformation, a finding Chan and his colleagues termed “retrieval enhanced suggestibility.”

J. Don Read Early Career Award Recipient 2016

Assistant Professor Andrew C. Butler

Dr. Butler is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University. Dr. Butler is interested in the malleability of memory – the cognitive processes and mechanisms that cause memories to change or remain stable over time. More specifically, his research focuses on how the process of retrieving memories affects the content (e.g., events, specific details, narrative structure, etc.) and phenomenological characteristics (e.g., confidence, emotional intensity, vividness, etc.) of those memories.  His program of research addresses both theoretical issues in cognitive psychology and practical applications to education and mental health. The broad aim of this research program is to gain a better understanding of how retrieval affects: memories held by individuals and those shared by groups (i.e. collective memories); memories for simple materials (e.g., word lists, facts, etc.) to more complex memories that are rich in sensory detail, emotion, and self-relevance, among other characteristics; and newly formed, episodic memories in contrast to well-learned semantic memories that have been integrated into the knowledge base.