The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday, that University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan has been elected as a member of its 2015 class.
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences led by John Adams among others, was founded in Massachusetts in 1780, before the Revolutionary War had ended and prior to the Constitution’s being established and ratified. It is one of the oldest “learned societies,” in the United States, and each generation for the past 235 years has nominated and elected those individuals who are among the most intelligent, capable, and benevolent.
From the eighteenth century, among those individuals honored were Benjamin Franklin, President George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton; from the nineteenth century were Daniel Webster, John J. Audubon, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, and Alexander Graham Bell; and in the twentieth century were Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Henry Cabot Lodge, Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are over 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners; and the newest class of 2015 include the President of the American University in Cairo, Lisa Anderson; Richard Kurin, the Under secretary of History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution: Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Wallace D. Loh, University of Maryland President; Janet A. Napolitano, President of University of California System; Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society; University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel; and Teresa A. Sullivan, President of the University of Virginia.
Sixteen Foreign Honorary Members were included from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom – including the Science Editor of the Financial Times, Clive Cookson; composer György Kurtág; medical anthropologist Margaret Lock; poet Derek Mahon; and computer scientist Joseph Sifakis.
In addition to mathmaticians, scientists, and social scientists from all throughout the nation, there were others elected in related arts and humanities areas. Here the 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 will be inducted at a ceremony on October 10, 2015, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 2015 Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is available for download as a .PDF file.
A special emphasis has been added from Nobel Laureates Thomas R. Cech (University of Colorado Boulder) and Steven Chu (Stanford University; former U.S. Secretary of Energy) in the highlight of a report as an October 15 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled:
“How to Stop Winning Nobel Prizes in Science.”
Both authors stressed the need for reliable federal funding for basic research, warning that with recent sequester activity the science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers for our young people continue to be at risk. They note:
“vacillation in the government’s commitment to basic research makes strategic planning all but impossible for the nation’s research institutions including universities, medical schools and national laboratories, and the companies they partner with . . . In short, not only must we invest, but also we must generate a framework in which that investment can thrive.”