Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Weimer, Yackee named faculty fellows

David WeimerDavid Weimer
Susan YackeeSusan Yackee

David Weimer and Susan Yackee are the first two Daniel Louis and Genevieve Rustvold Goldy Faculty Fellows.

Weimer will use Goldy support to hire a neuroscience graduate student to undertake two reviews related to valuing the effect of addictive behavior on the brain—one dealing with strength of the addiction (the neuroscience literature); the other with the harm done by addiction (medical and social science literature).

"Neuroscience evidence is accumulating that consumption of addictive substances results in physical changes to the brain," Weimer says. "Other behaviors, such as gambling and sexual compulsions, may also change the brain. Public policy toward addiction has not fully incorporated such neuroscience research. I anticipate using these reviews to formulate a coherent rationale for public policies toward addiction and begin moving toward practical advice about how to treat changes in addictive consumption in cost-benefit analysis."

Yackee will use her award to plan, organize and to host a one-day interdisciplinary research conference focused on emerging policy issues associated with U.S. regulatory policymaking. The Conference will be held in spring 2015 in Madison.
"I anticipate conference panels on such emerging policy topics as social media and the use of new technology during regulatory policymaking," Yackee says. "Disciplines of the scholars would likely include public policy, public administration, political science and law. The conference activities would also feature an interdisciplinary mix of UW-Madison faculty and students, including representation from the La Follette School, Political Science Department, and the UW Law School."

The Goldy Award is funded by a gift from the family of Genevieve and Daniel Goldy. Daniel Goldy was a 1936 economics alum of the University of Wisconsin and a protégé of UW political scientist Edwin Witte, who developed the legislation that became the 1935 Social Security Act. He served in the Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations.