Fletcher awarded 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship

Profile photo of Jason Fletcher

Jason Fletcher, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Public Affairs at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Demography of Health and Aging with an appointment in Population Health Sciences, was awarded the 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship by the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Fletcher is one of three UW-Madison faculty selected for this prestigious fellowship this year, and the only scholar from the Sociology discipline to be selected. Just 171 individuals from around the world were appointed to the fellowship “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise” per the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s press release last week.

“I am honored to be selected for the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship,” Fletcher said. “This award will allow me to expand on my research agenda that connects early life conditions and mortality. My hope is that this project can provide a new account of present-day mortality in the US.”

The Guggenheim Fellowship will provide Fletcher with support to prepare and submit a book proposal relating to past and ongoing projects unpacking current trends in mortality in the United States. “I believe the story (mostly) lies in the past rather than the present,” Fletcher stated in his proposal. With a multi-disciplinary approach to his work, Fletcher will incorporate his expertise in economics, sociology, epidemiology, demography and public policy into the scholarship to come from this fellowship.

In addition to synthesizing current research on the subject, Fletcher’s book will focus on how the US World War II effort in the early 1940s shaped the in utero and childhood environments of children born in this period and how these conditions have impacted mortality outcomes many decades later. A leader in the emerging field of social genomics, he co-authored the 2017 book, The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Reveals About Ourselves, Our History and Our Future.

Fletcher joined the faculty of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison in 2013, with previous appointments at Yale University and Columbia University. He earned a B.S. in economics and public administration from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Applied Economics.

UW-Madison’s College of Letters & Science, Department of Population Health Sciences, and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education have also agreed to contribute funding to support Fletcher’s project. “I’d like to express my gratitude for this generous additional funding that will extend the reach of this project and deepen our understanding of how early life experiences impact how long we live,” Fletcher said.

The La Follette School of Public Affairs and Center for Demography of Health and Aging congratulate Jason Fletcher on this outstanding accomplishment!

Visit the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to review a full list of 2023 fellows.

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