The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently announced the names of 209 distinguished scholars, scientists, artists, business executives, educators, and public officials who have been elected to membership in the nation’s leading learned society. Members of this year’s class – composed of 183 fellows, along with 26 foreign honorary members from 14 nations – were honored for their achievements in fields ranging from mathematics to medicine, from computer science to literary criticism, and from public affairs to the performing arts. Eleven members of Harvard’s faculty are included in this year’s field of elected fellows.
According to Academy president and former Dartmouth College chief executive James O. Freedman, “election is the result of a highly competitive selection process that recognizes those who have made pre-eminent contributions to all fields and professions.” Leslie C. Berlowitz, the Academy’s executive officer, noted that “the American Academy is unique in its breadth and scope.”
“Throughout its history,” Berlowitz added, “the Academy has gathered individuals with diverse interests and perspectives to participate in meetings, studies, and projects focusing on issues of concern to society.”
Founded in the midst of the American Revolution by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other leaders of the young nation, the Academy was chartered “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”
The Academy has numbered among its members each generation’s finest minds and most influential leaders, from George Washington and Ben Franklin in the 18th century to Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership of 3,600 fellows and 600 foreign honorary members features more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of its membership, the Academy carries out its work through path-breaking studies in such areas as arms control, education, and the history and future of the humanities.
New fellows are nominated and elected by current members of the Academy. Members are divided into five broad classes: mathematics and physics; biological sciences; social sciences; humanities and arts; and public affairs and business.
The following members of the Harvard community have been elected to the Academy:
Allan M. Brandt, humanities and arts (history and archaeology); James Cuno, public affairs and business (nonprofit sector); Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, humanities and arts (philosophy and religious studies); Jeffrey Scott Flier, biological sciences (medical sciences, clinical medicine, and public health); Lawrence F. Katz, social sciences (economics); Christine M. Korsgaard, humanities and arts (philosophy and religious studies); David Morse Livingston, biological sciences (medical sciences, clinical medicine, and public health); Barbara Reskin, social sciences (social relations); Kenneth S. Rogoff, social sciences (economics); Werner Sollors, humanities and arts (literary criticism); and Andrew Strominger, mathematical and physical sciences (physics).
This year’s fellows will be welcomed as members at the annual induction ceremony, scheduled to be held at the Academy’s Cambridge headquarters on Oct. 13.