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American Academy of Arts and Sciences Inducts 235th Class of Members


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, MA | October 10, 2015 – For the 235th time, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has inducted its newest class of members. One of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent research centers, the Academy includes among this year’s 147 inductees prominent scientists, artists, literary figures, and leaders of academic, business, philanthropic, and cultural institutions from across the United States and internationally.

Members of the 2015 class include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Wolf Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Arts, the National Humanities Medal, and the National Book Award; a knighthood in the French Legion of Honor; MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Fellowships; and Academy, Emmy, Grammy, Screen Actors Guild, and Tony Awards.

Among the inductees were Microsoft Distinguished Scientist Susan Dumais; international biochemist and geneticist Dr. David H. MacLennan; the Honorable Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California; the Honorable David S. Tatel, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit; and award-winning author Annie Proulx.

The ceremony included remarks by five new members, representing the five classes of the Academy: Scripps Research Institute professor and member of Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology Phil S. Baran; neurophilosophy pioneer and University of California, San Diego Professor Patricia Churchland; Harvard economics professor and founder of the Education Innovation Laboratory Roland Fryer; Massachusetts Institute of Technology philosophy professor Sally Haslanger; and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.

“This weekend, as it has 234 times before, the Academy welcomes into its membership a group of leaders from across the nation and the world,” said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “We are honored to include these inductees in our Book of Members. They have demonstrated not only excellence in their fields, but also a commitment to serving society through their accomplishments.”

“We welcome the participation by each new member in the work of the Academy—work that is intended to advance the common good,” Academy President Jonathan Fanton added. “Our new members will carry on a long tradition of collaborating across disciplines as they participate in Academy research projects and other initiatives. They will help identify big issues we must address in our quest for a more just and peaceful world with opportunity for all.”

In addition to the Induction ceremony, the weekend also included:
  • As part of a celebration of the arts and the humanities, readings and remarks by, among others, art critic Holland Cotter; historian Thomas Cummins; writer Anne Fadiman; composer and musician George Lewis; comparative literature scholar Françoise Meltzer; literary critic Edward Mendelson; and curator Jay Xu.
  • A presentation by Alexei Filippenko, noted astrophysicist and distinguished professor of physical sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research contributed to the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating with time and that this acceleration is likely driven by a form of matter than cannot be seen with telescopes.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. In its work, the Academy focuses on higher education, the humanities, and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good. Academy research has resulted in reports like The Heart of the Matter and Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream. Projects under the guidance of the Academy’s Committee on International Security Studies address the impact of energy and security technologies on global prospects for peace and prosperity. All of the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.



Dave Nuscher
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Chief Communications Officer
Twitter: @americanacad


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