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American Academy Inducts 226th Class of Scholars, Scientists, Artists, Civic, Corporate and Philanthropic Leaders


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – At an induction ceremony here on Saturday, October 7, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences officially welcomed its 226th class of Fellows.

Five newly elected members of the Academy addressed colleagues at the ceremony: Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and Rockefeller University President Sir Paul Nurse; pioneering meteorologist Joanne Simpson; former French Minister of Justice and current member of the French Senate, Robert Badinter; businessman and philanthropist Fred Kavli; and actor, writer and director Alan Alda. The Academy also installed Emilio Bizzi, MIT Institute Professor and brain scientist, as its 44th President. Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz also spoke.

This year’s class includes, among others, former Presidents William Jefferson Clinton and George H.W. Bush; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts; the chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton; actor and director Martin Scorsese; choreographer Meredith Monk; conductor Michael Tilson Thomas; New York Stock Exchange chairman Marshall Carter; and Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company. The newly elected class also includes: Elbert Rutan, designer and constructor of the Voyager, the first vehicle to circumnavigate the earth without refueling and other renowned experimental aircraft; Charles Thacker, designer of the world’s first personal computer workstation; William Greenough of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose research provided the first clear evidence for the structural basis of memory; Michael Dawson, University of Chicago political scientist who has authored influential studies of race and politics in the United States; Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, who is a leading expert on the legal and social consequences of the information revolution; Bancroft Prize-winning historian William Cronon; National Book Award-winning author Xuefei Jin; former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel; Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet; and New Yorker editor David Remnick.

Foreign Honorary Members in this year’s class come from Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East, and include National University of Singapore President Shih ChoonFong; Japanese ecologist Yoh Iwasa; Ecuadorian biologist and Galapagos Islands champion Eugenia Del Pino Veintimilla; British author and playwright William Trevor; and Henri Loyrette, president and director of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The 175 Fellows and 20 Foreign Honorary Members who make up the American Academy’s 226th class are leaders in scholarship, business, the arts and public affairs. They come from 24 states and 13 countries and include Nobel and Pulitzer Prize laureates, MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows. A complete list of new members is available on the Academy’s website at:

"The Academy takes great pride in honoring the accomplishments of these outstanding and influential individuals," said incoming Academy President Emilio Bizzi, who officiated at the day’s proceedings. "Throughout its history, Fellows of the Academy have been dedicated to advancing intellectual thought and constructive action in America and the world. We are confident that our newest group of Fellows will help us fulfill that mission in significant ways."

"The Induction ceremony is an opportunity to both welcome new members and celebrate the extraordinary history of the organization, now in its third century of service to the nation," said Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. "The Academy both honors excellence by electing members to its fellowship and draws on that distinguished membership to address critical social and intellectual issues. Its programs support practical policy approaches to the most pressing problems of the day. It does so through studies, publications, meetings and symposia. The unique structure of the Academy allows members to conduct interdisciplinary studies that draw on the full range of academic and professional fields of its members."

On Saturday, new members learned about the Academy's wide-ranging research program from current Fellows who lead some of the ongoing studies. They include Academy projects on improving the state of the humanities, the relationship between Congress and the Court, the future of the Internet, nuclear proliferation, the future of the media, and universal education, among other topics. New members also will learn about the Academy's Visiting Scholars Program, designed to mentor a new generation of scholars and thinkers.

New Fellows and Honorary Foreign Members are nominated and elected by current members of the Academy. Members are divided into five broad classes: mathematics and physical sciences; biological sciences; social sciences; humanities and the arts; and public affairs, business and administration.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on: science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 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. (

To view full listing of 2006 Academy Fellows, visit:


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