Xandra Owens Breakefield, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, signs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Book of Members, a tradition that dates back to 1780.

Courtesy of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Campus & Community

American Academy announces 233rd class

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Harvard scholars among the American Academy of Arts and Sciences inductees

Harvard’s David Matthew Altshuler, professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School (HMS); Xandra Owens Breakefield, professor of neurology, HMS; Paul Arthur Buttenwieser, clinical instructor in psychiatry, HMS; David Winslow Latham, lecturer on astronomy; Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Joseph Loscalzo, Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic, HMS; John Francis Manning, Bruce Bromley Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Charles Alexander Nelson III, professor of psychiatry, HMS; William James Poorvu, Class of 1961 Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship Emeritus, Harvard Business School; and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Professor of Physics Xiaowei Zhuang were among 164 influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors, and institutional leaders who were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony in Cambridge on Oct. 12.

Academy Award-winning actor Sally Field, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, novelist Martin Amis, and jazz great Herbie Hancock were among the inductees. Field and Burns read from the letters of John and Abigail Adams, and the ceremony concluded with a performance by Hancock.

“The induction ceremony recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals who, together with the Academy, will work to advance the greater good,” said Academy Secretary Jerrold Meinwald. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic, and policy challenges of the day.”

Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.

An alphabetical list of the new Academy members is located at: https://news.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/alphalist2013.pdf. The new class listed by discipline is at: https://news.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/classlist2013.pdf.

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The current membership includes more than 300 Nobel laureates, some 100 Pulitzer Prize winners, and many of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers.