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American Academy of Arts and Sciences Inducts 233rd Class of Members

Highlights Include Readings by Academy Award-winning Actor Sally Field and Emmy Award-winning Filmmaker Ken Burns and a Performance by Internationally Renowned Jazz Musician Herbie Hancock


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today inducted 164 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 Sally Field, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, novelist Martin Amis, and jazz great Herbie Hancock were among the inductees. Field and Burns read from the letters of John and Abigail Adams, and the ceremony concluded with a performance by Hancock.

The ceremony included talks by five new inductees: Harvard chemist Xiaowei Zhuang; President of Rockefeller University and neuroscientist Marc Tessier-Lavigne; University of California, Berkeley learning and child development scholar Alison Gopnik; historian Paula Fredriksen of The Hebrew University; and Phyllis Wise, Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“The Induction Ceremony 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 Secretary Jerrold Meinwald. “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 2013 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; National Medal of Science; the Lasker Award; the Pulitzer and the Shaw Prizes; the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; and Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony Awards.

This year's inductees include: Nobel Prize winner David J. Wineland; chief academic officer of the Broad Institute David Altshuler; psychologist Robert A. Bjork; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides; U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz; Tom Siebel, CEO of C3 Energy; philanthropist and co-founder of the Carlyle Group David M. Rubenstein; University of Southern California President Max Nikias; and Director of Institute for Advanced Study Robbert Dijkgraaf.

In addition to the Induction Ceremony, weekend events also included:
  • Presentation of the Emerson-Thoreau Medal to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth and the Award for Humanistic Studies to Denis Donoghue and Helen Vendler on October 11, with readings and presentations by writers Emma Donoghue, Jeffrey Eugenides, Martin Amis, and Paul Theroux; poet Natasha Trethewey; artist/illustrator Roz Chast; filmmaker Albert Maysles; and a performance by clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.

  • A Briefing on October 12 featuring presentations by leaders of Academy policy projects on Science Policy, Security and Energy, and Humanities, Education and Social Policy.

  • Talks by both U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and filmmaker Ken Burns on Sunday, October 13. Burns’ presentation included a preview of his new film, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”


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