AAAS inducts Brandeis Faculty into 229th Class of Members

James Haber, Gish Jen and Jonathan Sarna were elected to Academy in 2009

James E. Haber, Professor of Biology and Director of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center and Gish Jen, Professor and Codirector of Creative Writing at Brandeis University, are among those being inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 229th class of new members on Saturday, October 10th, in Cambridge. The program celebrates pioneering research and scholarship, artistic achievement, and exemplary service to society. Jonathan Sarna, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis, was also elected a Fellow of the Academy last April.
As part of the Induction ceremony, five members of the new class will address their colleagues: ground-breaking mathematician and Fields Medal recipient Terence Tao; Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health Elizabeth Nabel; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California Ronald George; celebrated ballet dancer and choreographer Edward Villella; and former Northrop Grumman Corporation Chairman and CEO Kent Kresa.
The ceremony will also include actor James Earl Jones and singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris reading from the letters of John and Abigail Adams.
“The Induction ceremony celebrates the Academy’s mission and the accomplishments of its newly elected members,” said Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. “Through three centuries of service, the Academy and its Fellows have been dedicated to intellectual leadership and constructive action in America and the world.”
The 212 new Fellows and 19 Foreign Honorary Members are leaders in research, scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs. They come from 28 states and 11 countries and range in age from 33 to 83. They represent universities, museums, national laboratories, research institutes, businesses, and foundations. This year’s group includes Nobel laureates and recipients of the Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, Academy, Grammy, and Tony awards, and the National Medal of Arts.
Among this year’s inductees are geochemist Stein Bjørnar Jacobsen, who used radioisotopes to date the formation of the Earth’s core; U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III; authors Gish Jen, Jamaica Kincaid, and James Salter; Civil War historian James McPherson; green technology investor and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner John Doerr; and Exelon Corporation CEO John Rowe.
Other new Fellows who will be inducted are mathematician and founder of modern complexity theory Michael Sipser; environmental policy expert Edward L. Miles; innovator in developmental economics Esther Duflo; and university presidents H. Kim Bottomly (Wellesley College), John Casteen III (University of Virginia), Ronald Daniels (John Hopkins University), James Warren Wagner (Emory University) and Maria Klawe (Harvey Mudd College).
This year’s Foreign Honorary Members come from Europe, Canada, and Asia and include microbiologist Lelio Orci; ecologist Spencer Barrett; paleontologist Jennifer Clack; entomologist H. Charles Godfray; Professor of Psychology Claes von Hofsten; economist Mathias Dewatripont; and Hong Kong-based filmmaker Wong Kar Wai.
A complete list of new members is available on the Academy’s website at:
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy; global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world. (
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences Induction ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2009, at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Paul Karoff at 617-576-5043 or


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