Celeste Kidd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Celeste Kidd
Alma materUniversity of Rochester
University of Southern California
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Stanford University
ThesisRational Approaches to Learning and Development
Doctoral advisorRichard N. Aslin
WebsiteKidd Lab

Celeste Kidd is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She was amongst the Silence Breakers who were named Time Person of the Year in 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Kidd studied print journalism and linguistics at the University of Southern California, where she earned a dual honours degree in 2007.[1] She moved to the University of Rochester for her graduate studies, where she worked in brain and cognitive studies and earned her PhD in 2013. She worked with Richard Aslin, an expert on infant learning.[2] She held visiting positions at the Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]

Research and career[edit]

Kidd works on curiosity and exploration throughout early development. She was hired as Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester in 2012.[2] She has studied the willpower of children, challenging the Stanford marshmallow experiment.[4][5] She demonstrated that children's willpower is influenced by their superior's reliability and trust.[6][7]

Kidd was made Director of the Rochester Baby Lab at the University of Rochester in 2014.[3][8] She moved to the University of California, Berkeley in June 2018.[8] She has studied why it is so difficult to shake a false belief, such as believing in flat earth or climate change denial.[9] Kidd is interested in the neuroscience of curiosity.[10][11] She demonstrated that uncertainty can lead to the most curiosity.[11]

#MeToo advocacy[edit]

After years of "unbearable and unrelenting sexual harassment" from fellow University of Rochester psychology academic Florian Jaeger, Kidd submitted complaints to the University of Rochester Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[12][13] Jaeger was accused of having sexual relationships with students, using sexual innuendo that made people uncomfortable and holding retreats off-site that included hot tubs and recreational drug use.[14] The first complaint was made against Jaeger in 2013, but the University decided to award him tenure.[15] There were protests from students on campus, which eventually led to the resignation of University of Rochester President, Joel Seligman.[14][16] Despite receiving complaints from seven current and former professors, the University cleared Jaeger of all violations of harassment and discrimination.[12][16] During the investigation, the University promoted Jaeger to full Professor.[13] Kidd was one of nine faculty members who sued the University over their mishandling of the case.[17] In 2018, Kidd left the University of Rochester due to its inability to handle the sexual harassment allegations against Jaeger.[12] As of 2019, six faculty members, including Richard Aslin, have left the University, taking $10 million of grant funding.[14] Aslin had worked for the University for 32 years.[13]

Kidd has since become a campaigner to end sexual harassment in academia.[18][19][20] Kidd was made a leader in the Me Too movement in academia, and one of several advocates selected as TIME Magazine Person of the Year.[21] She has criticised how universities are expected to "investigate themselves" when it comes to complaints about sexual harassment.[18] She believes that public pressure and increased transparency will help to transform academia.[18]

In March 2020, Dr. Kidd and the other plaintiffs settled with the University or Rochester, through their attorney Dr. Ann Olivarius, for $9.4 million.[22][23] After the settlement, Dr. Kidd said "It sends a very important message to women in academia around the world that things are very different and times are changing and universities take this seriously in a way that they haven’t historically."[24]

Awards and honours[edit]

Kidd has been selected as one of the Association for Psychological Science's Rising Stars.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Kidd is married to Steven Piantadosi, a computational psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley.[27][28]


  1. ^ September 25; 2018September 25; 2018 (2018-09-25). "Meet our new faculty: Celeste Kidd, psychology". Berkeley News. Retrieved 2019-07-10.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b "She was a rising star at a major university. Then a lecherous professor made her life hell". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  3. ^ a b "Rochester Baby Lab". babylab.bcs.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  4. ^ a b "Why Kids Make Rash Decisions | DiscoverMagazine.com". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  5. ^ Raeburn, Paul; Zollman, Kevin (2016-04-05). The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know--Your Kids. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780374714406.
  6. ^ "Kids' Willpower Influenced By Others' Reliability". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  7. ^ "New "marshmallow test" suggests trust matters". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  8. ^ a b Valdes, Amanda (2018-06-09). "Rochester Baby Lab shutting down, moving from U of R". WHAM. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  9. ^ Pappas, Stephanie; September 12, Live Science Contributor |; ET, 2018 07:11am. "Why False Beliefs Are Hard to Shake". Live Science. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  10. ^ Kidd, Celeste; Hayden, Benjamin Y. (2015). "The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity". Neuron. 88 (3): 449–460. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.09.010. PMC 4635443. PMID 26539887.
  11. ^ a b News, Neuroscience (2019-05-23). "What we think we know, but might not, pushes us to learn more". Neuroscience News. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  12. ^ a b c "Celeste Kidd leaves UR in Jaeger aftermath". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  13. ^ a b c "Sexual Harassment Charges Roil Elite University Department". Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  14. ^ a b c "Professor who outed pervy colleague resigns over school's response". New York Post. Associated Press. 2018-06-16. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  15. ^ "This grad student says her professor harassed her. Her life changed. Did his?," Vox, 14 December 2017.
  16. ^ a b Scoles, Sarah (2017-09-27). "The University of Rochester Sexual Harassment Case Is Complicated—And That's the Point". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  17. ^ Witze, Alexandra (2017-12-08). "Nine researchers sue University of Rochester over sexual-harassment allegations". Nature. 552 (7684): 155–156. Bibcode:2017Natur.552..155W. doi:10.1038/d41586-017-08235-z. PMID 29239356.
  18. ^ a b c Short, Eva (2019-05-31). "How do we stamp out sexual harassment in academia?". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  19. ^ Trinity College Dublin (2019-04-12), Prof Celeste Kidd speaks on How Sexual Harassment Creates Inequality in Academia, retrieved 2019-07-10
  20. ^ ""The Silence Breakers" - in honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, the Women's and Gender Studies Program presents Celeste Kidd and Lindsay Wrobel from the U of R | Events Calendar | Rochester Institute of Technology". events.rit.edu. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  21. ^ a b "What Still Needs to Be Done to Break the Silence Surrounding Sexual Harassment". Time. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  22. ^ "University of Rochester and plaintiffs settle sexual harassment lawsuit for $9.4 million," Science, 27 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Rochester Settles Sex Harassment Case for $9.4M," Inside HigherEd, 30 March 2020.
  24. ^ "University of Rochester and harassment plaintiffs reach $9.4 million settlement in lawsuit," WXXI News, 27 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Glushko Dissertation Prize | cognitivesciencesociety.org". Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  26. ^ "Association for Psychological Science: APS Rising Stars". www.psychologicalscience.org. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  27. ^ Charuchandra, Sukanya (2018-06-20). "Two University of Rochester Professors Resign in Protest". The Scientist. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  28. ^ "Steven Piantadosi". UC Psych. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2019-07-17.