H. Wesley Perkins, professor of sociology, and David Craig, professor of chemistry at HWS, presented at the National Conference on the Social Norms Approach, in Burlingame, Calif. from July 20 through 22. The conference featured researchers presenting data about perception versus reality when it comes to a variety of topics including bullying, weight issues, alcohol consumption, youth violence, sexual health and tobacco and drug use.
Perkins and Craig are co-directors of HWS' Alcohol Education Project, a collection of education and research initiatives. Their work has been presented internationally to inform people about social norms and abuse problems related to alcohol and other drugs, bullying and weight norms. They were able to present research results on each of these topics at the conference.
On the first day, Perkins gave a pre-conference intensive seminar for 85 new attendees titled "Introduction to Social Norms Theory and Practice.” Over the next two days, both he and Craig presented sessions on their research on bullying in the US and the UK and, with Jessica Perkins of Harvard, presented new research on "Assessing weight norms, misperceptions, and Body Mass Index: Comparing the Importance of school context and composition versus individual perception."
Additionally, Craig presented a session on "Student-Conducted Research on Alcohol as Service Learning: Curricular Strategy to Expand Available Data for Social Norms Programming."
Perkins is a graduate of Purdue University, and he received his M.A., M. Div., M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the author of dozens of journal articles about substance abuse prevention and has been honored with national awards for his work in preventing alcohol and drug abuse in colleges and universities.
David W. Craig, the Philip J. Moorad ’32 and Margaret N. Moorad Professor of Science, received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside in 1977 and his B.A. from California State University at Chico. In 1979, Craig became a professor of chemistry at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Their work is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a premiere model for substance abuse prevention.