Caltech has announced that economist Charles Plott has been chosen to fill the Edward S. Harkness chair in economics and political science and that chemistry Prof. Peter Dervan is the first to be named a Bren Professor.
Plott, director of Caltech's new Laboratory of Experimental Economics and Political Science, is pioneering the examination of economic theories under laboratory conditions.
Dervan is developing chemical techniques that identify human heredity. A Caltech spokesman said his research may lead to development of more effective treatments for cancer and viral diseases. He fills a chair established with $1.5 million from the Bren Foundation, headed by Donald L. Bren, chairman of the Irvine Co. and a member of the Caltech Board of Trustees.