Summer 2014 Bulletin

From the President

I started my work as President of the Academy on July 1 and appreciate the warm welcome from Members and staff.

I am impressed by the breadth and quality of studies underway at the Academy and by the engagement of so many Members in its work. I hope to increase the number of Members active in the Academy, and I encourage you and other Members to share your thoughts about the future of the Academy as well as your own interests. My email address is, and I look forward to your comments and ideas.

I commend this Summer issue of the Bulletin to you. It provides a rich sample of projects and publications underway at the Academy, including the follow up to The Heart of the Matter, a new report on Public Trust in Vaccines and another from the Global Nuclear Future project on Insider Threats, as well as an article on the recent issue of Dædalus on “The Invention of Courts.” In addition, the presentations on “Growing Pains in a Rising China,” “Protecting Against the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism,” and “The Universe is Stranger Than We Thought” exemplify the wide range of topics that concern the Academy and its Members. Please be sure to read Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh’s closing essay about the importance of the humanities and social sciences to helping solve environmental challenges facing our world. He says, in part, “There is increasing recognition that the planet’s most severe problems cannot be treated as if they are solvable only by great engineering and scientific solutions. As The Heart of the Matter recognizes, the social sciences and humanities hold a key to our innovation ecosystem that will enable us to make more rapid progress in addressing major challenges.”

That speaks well to the comparative advantage the Academy has to bring together distinguished individuals from every field of human endeavor “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

I look forward to making common cause with you in the years ahead.

Jonathan F. Fanton