Academy Article

Induction Weekend 2019


The new members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences will be inducted this weekend at a series of events both celebratory and substantive. The events will be videotaped and shared online in late October.

The new members of the Academy featured at A Celebration of Arts and Humanities include theater director and scholar Harry J. Elam, Jr.; composer, singer, and songwriter Patricia Barber; playwright Donald Margulies; and writer, poet, and nonprofit leader Elizabeth Alexander. A video highlighting the work and values of artist Mark Bradford will also be shown.

The weekend brings together the Academy’s newest members and oldest traditions, including members signing the Book of Members and joining an organization founded in 1780. The induction ceremony will feature new members representing different areas of the Academy:

  • For Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the speakers are climatologists Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie G. Thompson.
  • For Biological Sciences, the speaker is microbiologist Jo Handelsman.
  • For Social and Behavioral Sciences, the speaker is diplomat Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
  • For Humanities and Art, the speaker is historian Margaret D. Jacobs.
  • For Public Affairs, Business, and Administration, the speaker is lawyer and advocate Sherrilyn Ifill.

For the third Annual David M. Rubenstein Lecture, which is the closing event of Induction Weekend, David Rubenstein will join Anna Deavere Smith in conversation. She is an actress and playwright as well as a professor at New York University Tisch School of the Arts who is a member of the Academy's Class of 2019.

The 239th class of new members is available HERE

The new class joins the company of Academy members elected before them, including Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781) and Alexander Hamilton (1791) in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), and Charles Darwin (1874) in the nineteenth; Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966) in the twentieth; and more recently Antonin Scalia (2003), Michael Bloomberg (2007), John Lithgow (2010), Judy Woodruff (2012), and Bryan Stevenson (2014).