Stuart A. Kirk, DSW (emeritus)

Stuart A. Kirk, DSW (emeritus)

inducted in 2010 Fellow
Stuart Kirk

Stuart A. Kirk is a distinguished professor emeritus in Social Welfare at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles. His research has critically examined the conventional wisdom of professions, seeking to illuminate the unintended effects of professional beliefs and practices when they are inadequately supported by scientific facts.

For example, he has written about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the foundational document of the psychiatric enterprise, challenging its major tenets and scientific underpinnings (e.g. The Selling of DSM, 1992; Making Us Crazy, 1997; Mad Science, 2013). Similarly, he has analyzed the effectiveness of the structures used by the profession of social work to increase the use of knowledge in practice and to make social work more scientifically based (e.g. Science and Social Work, 2002).

As an administrator, he served in the 1980s as dean of the School of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany, and more recently at UCLA as director of the doctoral program and chair of the Department of Social Welfare.

He is a former editor-in-chief of the NASW journal, Social Work Research. He has published 9 books, over two dozen chapters, and about 100 articles in social welfare, psychology, psychiatry and other journals. In 2003, he received the annual award for Significant Lifetime Achievement from the Council on Social Work Education.