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American Academy of Arts and Sciences Inducts 232nd Class of Members


Press Release

Click for video of Induction events.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today inducted 220 members, from leading scientists, authors, and business executives, to the heads of academic, philanthropic, and cultural institutions in the United States and abroad.

Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis and American baritone Thomas Hampson were among the inductees. Day-Lewis read a letter that George Washington wrote to the Academy during the Revolutionary War and an excerpt from Abraham Lincoln’s second annual address to Congress; Hampson sang several selections, including one from the American Song Project.

The ceremony included talks by five new inductees: mathematician Steven Strogatz; microbiologist Margaret J. McFall-Ngai; attorney and Supreme Court advocate Maureen Mahoney; Bancroft prize-winning historian David W. Blight; and civic and business leader Penny S. Pritzker.

“This weekend recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals who together with the Academy will work to advance the greater good,” said Academy President Leslie Berlowitz. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic, and policy challenges of the day.”

Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.

Members of the 2012 class include winners of the National Medal of Science, the Lasker Award, the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes, the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony awards; the Avery Fisher Prize, and election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Others inducted included: renowned chemist James Fraser Stoddart; volcanologist Katharine Cashman; oncologist Brian Druker; journalists Judy Woodruff and Martin Baron; composer Andre Previn; philanthropists Sanford I. Weill and Daniel Rose; Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Paul Mendes-Flohr, a leading scholar of modern Jewish thought and history; behavioral scientist Edward F. Diener; public finance economist Amy Finkelstein; political scientist James Druckman; Vicki L. Ruiz, whose research helped establish the field of Chicano/Latino history; Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif; and George F. Bass, a pioneer in underwater archaeology.

In addition to the Induction ceremony, weekend events also included:
  • A Celebration of the Arts and Humanities on October 5 with readings and presentations by writers Daniel Mendelsohn, Scott Russell Sanders, Sven Birkerts, Christopher Benfey, and Denis Donoghue; poets Gerald Stern and Rachel Hadas; choreographer Christopher Wheeldon; artist/illustrator Jerry Pinkney; and a performance by composer/pianist Yehudi Wyner and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.
  • A Briefing on October 6 featuring presentations by National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh, Andrew W. Mellow Foundation President Don Randel, Carnegie Institution for Science President Richard Meserve, and leaders of Academy policy projects.
  • Challenges to Institutions of Democracy on Sunday, October 7 with Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan; Diane Wood, federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals; Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Philip Bredesen, former Governor of Tennessee; Judy Woodruff, PBS journalist; Martin Baron, editor of The Boston Globe; Norman Ornstein, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and Alex Jones, Director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.


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