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American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects National and International Scholars, Artists, Philanthropists, and Business and Civic Leaders

The 2015 class includes Pulitzer Prize-winner Holland Cotter, singer-songwriter Judy Collins, Nike co-founder Philip Knight, Nobel Prize-winner Brian Kobilka, Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and novelist Tom Wolfe

4/22/2015

Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. | April 22, 2015 – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the election of 197 new members. They include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, business, and philanthropic leaders.

The list of the new members is located at www.amacad.org/members.

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts, and education.

Members of the 2015 class include winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards.

“We are honored to elect a new class of extraordinary women and men to join our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “Each new member is a leader in his or her field and has made a distinct contribution to the nation and the world. We look forward to engaging them in the intellectual life of this vibrant institution.”

Academy President Jonathan Fanton added, “The honor of election is also a call to service. Through its projects, publications, and events, the Academy provides its members with opportunities to discover common interests and find common ground. We invite every new member to participate in our important and rewarding work.”

Mathematicians and scientists in the new class include: theoretical computer scientist Sanjeev Arora, who developed the PCP Theorem; leading probabilist Gerard Ben Arous; epidemiologist James W. Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health; Michael Elowitz, whose work helped to initiate synthetic biology; Howard Eichenbaum, Director of the Center for Memory and Brain; George Georgiou, inventor of protein drugs and protein production technologies; pioneer in the new field of chemical glycobiology, Linda Hsieh-Wilson; Victoria Kaspi, a leader in high energy astrophysics; neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone; virologist Paul A. Offit; nanoscale scientist Paul L. McEuen; Philip Needleman, who discovered and developed Celebrex ®; Rebecca Richards-Kortum, whose works focuses on developing low-cost, high-performance imaging technologies for low resource settings; Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, a leader in the study of regeneration; evolutionary biologist Joan B. Silk; and Gerhard Wagner, who performed the first comprehensive study of hydrogen exchange on a protein.

Social scientists in the new class include: Sarah A. Binder, an expert on Congress and legislative politics; anthropologist Peter T. Ellison, who laid the conceptual and empirical foundations of human reproductive ecology; David W. Garland, a leading sociologist of crime and punishment; economist Matthew Gentzkow, whose research focuses on media industries; Kenji Hakuta, an expert in language development and bilingualism; anthropologist Nina G. Jablonski, who studies the adaptation of primates; the developer of the Diffusion Model of judgment, Roger Ratcliff; psychologist Jenny Saffran, who studies how infants learn; Paul Slovic, leader in psychology of risk analysis and assessment; Judge David S. Tatel; and Robin West, known for her work in the ethics of care and feminist legal theory.

In the humanities and the arts, new members include: actors Audra McDonald and Christopher Plummer; scholar of medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion, Marilyn McCord Adams; writer and translator Robert Bly; Kang-i Chang, a scholar of Chinese poetry; singer-songwriter Judy Collins; Philip J. Deloria, a historian who specializes in Native American, Western American, and environmental history; leading Dante scholar John Freccero; Allen F. Isaacman, prominent Africanist; artist Joan Jonas; writer, composer, and musician James McBride; critic of British and American literature, Edward Mendelson; poet Mary Oliver; concert pianist, composer, and conductor Murray Perahia; Buddhist Studies scholar Gregory R. Schopen; and Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Jay Xu.

Elected in public affairs and journalism are: physician and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell; journalist and author A’Lelia Bundles; William J. Burns, President of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Deputy Secretary of State; host and Executive Producer of Fresh Air Terry Gross; and former Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi.

Philanthropists and business leaders in the 2015 class include: Maria D. Hummer-Tuttle, President of The Hummer Tuttle Foundation; Joseph Neubauer, former Chairman of the Aramark Corporation; Victoria P. Sant, Co-Founder and President of the Summit Foundation and the Summit Fund of Washington; President and Chief Executive Officer of Pew Charitable Trusts, Rebecca W. Rimel; James M. Stone, Chairman of Plymouth Rock Companies; and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.

The new class also includes leaders of educational, cultural, and philanthropic organizations, among them: Lisa Anderson, President of the American University in Cairo; Alberto Ibargüen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Under Secretary of History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, Richard Kurin; Wallace D. Loh, University of Maryland President; Janet A. Napolitano, President of University of California System; Cristián Samper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society; University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel; and Teresa A. Sullivan, President of the University of Virginia.

The Academy elected 16 Foreign Honorary Members from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. They include: Science Editor of the Financial Times, Clive Cookson; composer György Kurtág; medical anthropologist Margaret Lock; poet Derek Mahon; and computer scientist Joseph Sifakis.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 10, 2015, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

 

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