Sleep scientist Kimberly Honn elected president of Working Time Society

Closeup of Kimberly Honn
Kimberly Honn

Washington State University sleep scientist Kimberly Honn has been elected as president of the Working Time Society, serving a three-year term that started on April 1.

The Working Time Society is the academic counterpart of the Scientific Committee on Shiftwork and Working Time of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), a non-governmental organization recognized by the United Nations. With an international membership that represents more than 27 countries across six continents, the society brings together stakeholders to address the psychosocial aspects and health problems connected with shift work and working hours. It also advises national and international bodies on occupational issues related to working times.

An associate professor in the College of Medicine and a researcher in the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center, Honn studies the effects of sleep loss and shift work schedules on cognitive performance, safety, and health. To find ways to minimize sleep loss-related errors and negative health impacts, she conducts laboratory-based human subjects research that uses specially designed computerized tests to identify cognitive functions that are especially vulnerable or resilient to the effects of sleep deprivation. Her research is translated into real-world settings through driving and flight simulator studies and field research projects in commercial transportation, including aviation, trucking, and rail.

An active member of the Working Time Society since 2015, Honn co-chaired the society’s biennial meeting — the International Symposium on Shiftwork and Working Time — held in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and organized by the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center in 2019. In 2021, she became a member of the society’s 12-person board.

“I’m honored to be entrusted with the position of board president and look forward to working with other executive officers on the society’s board,” Honn said. As president, she will support the society’s return to in-person meetings following the COVID-19 pandemic, with the next in-person meeting slated to be held in Brazil in November 2025. Other efforts she will be engaged in include the hosting of global webinars to provide regular opportunities for members to share their work and the continued diversification of the society’s membership across different nationalities, races/ethnicities, career paths and research interests, among other initiatives.

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