Researchers and Affiliates
Sissela Bok, Senior Visiting Fellow, a writer and philosopher, received her B.A. and M.A. in psychology at the George Washington University in 1957 and 1958, and her Ph.D. in philosophy at Harvard University in 1970. She was formerly a Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University. The third edition of her book Lying: Moral Choice in Private and Public Life (1978) was reissued in 1999 with a new preface. Other books include Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation (1982, 1989); A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War (1989); Alva Myrdal: A Daughter’s Memoir (1991); Common Values (1996, reissued in 2002 with a new preface); and Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment (1998). With John Behnke, Bok has co-edited The Dilemmas of Euthanasia (1975) and, with Daniel Callahan, Ethics Teaching in Higher Education (1980). With Gerald Dworkin and R. G. Frey, she has co-authored Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (1998).
Rose E. Frisch, Associate Professor of Population Sciences, Emeritus, at the Department of Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Frisch obtained her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin. She is Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the John S. Memorial Guggenheim Foundation, and former Sigma Xi National Lecturer from 1989-1990. Her research has shown that under-nutrition and intense physical activity can have a limiting effect on female fertility. She hypothesized that a critical, minimum amount of body fat is necessary for, and directly influences, female reproduction. Her research results are predictive and are now used clinically for evaluation of nutritional infertility and the restoration of fertility. Research on the long-term health of 5,498 U.S. college alumnae showed that moderate regular athletic activity resulted in a lower risk of breast cancer and cancers of the reproductive system and a lower risk of late onset diabetes in the menopausal years. She has shown how environmental factors of nutrition, physical activity and disease can affect each reproductive milestone from menarche to menopause. Leptin, a new protein hormone made by body fat, is a major signal to the hypothalamus. She has published numerous articles, and several books. The most recent, Female Fertility and the Body Fat Connection, University of Chicago Press, 2002, paperback 2004, covers her 35 years of research on the topic.
Michael J. Levin is the Senior Census Trainer at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. His Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan looked at the effects of population pressure on scarce resources on a 26 acre atoll in Micronesia. He worked for 8 years in the East-West Center’s Population Program and followed with 27 years at the U.S. Census Bureau. He has worked in most of the Pacific Islands countries and territories and a dozen African countries, mostly assisting statistical offices in collecting, processing, and analyzing census and survey data. He has published many articles and several books, including the UN Editing Handbook, Alaska Natives in a Century of Change, and the co-authored Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. At HCPDS, he is helping coordinate the revived census and survey training program.
Erika Sabbath is a Research Fellow at the HCPDS. Her research explores associations between occupational exposures during working life and health after retirement, with a focus on the role of work in shaping socioeconomic aging patterns. She recently received a joint doctorate from Harvard School of Public Health and University of Paris. Her dissertation examined the contribution of chemical, ergonomic, and psychosocial exposures during working life to post-retirement functional and cognitive outcomes in the French GAZEL cohort. As a research fellow, she will study the role of lifetime work-family strain on later-life health among American and European retirees. She also plans to study still-working populations to understand the contributions of specific working conditions to health inequities.