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Nation's Oldest Learned Societies Hold First Convocation of Academies. Leading Experts will Explore Health, Economy, Energy, Courts, Religion, Media, and Other Topics


Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – More than 800 of the foremost scientists, humanists and leaders in business and public affairs will gather here April 27-29 when the nation’s two oldest learned societies – the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society (APS) – meet jointly for the first time. Both organizations pre-date the birth of the nation and include among their founding members Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Bowdoin and John Hancock.

Among the more than 30 featured presenters at the April meeting are former Mexican Secretary of the Treasury Pedro Aspe; Librarian of Congress James Billington; journalists Tom Brokaw and Gwen Ifill; National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone; former Solicitor General Wallter Dellinger III; writer E. L. Doctorow; Institute of Medicine President Harvey Fineberg; historian John Hope Franklin; New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse; attorney Conrad Harper; singer Emmylou Harris; DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles Holliday, Jr.; media commentator Kathleen Hall Jamieson; New York Chief Judge Judith Kaye; Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors Edward Lazear; religion scholar Martin Marty; Carnegie Institution President Richard Meserve; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Mellon Foundation President Don Michael Randel; former Aetna Chairman and CEO John Rowe; former Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes; Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow; poet Rosanna Warren; and San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President and CEO Janet Yellen.

The Public Good: Knowledge as the Foundation for a Democratic Society will bring together academics and practitioners for a series of panel discussions, conversations and dinner programs that focus on some of the most pressing issues facing the nation. Joining them for the historic two-and-a-half-day meeting will be members of the congressionally chartered National Academies (the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine).

The APS was founded in 1743 in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin. The American Academy was founded in 1780 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by John Adams. They were established to help advance “useful knowledge” in the fledgling republic, by promoting enlightened leaders and an engaged citizenry. They have remained faithful to their original missions to the present day. Their current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and more than 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The joint meeting is a project of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands in partnership with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.


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