PASADENA, Calif.-Five faculty members at the California Institute of Technology are among this year's newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They join 191 other Americans and 17 foreign honorees as the 225th class of fellows of the prestigious institution that was cofounded in 1780 by John Adams.
This year's new Caltech inductees are Barry Barish, the Linde Professor of Physics and director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO); Andrew Lange, the Goldberger Professor of Physics; Barry Simon, the IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics; David Tirrell, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and McCollum-Corcoran Professor and professor of chemistry and chemical engineering; and William Bridges, the Braun Professor of Engineering, Emeritus.
The five from Caltech join an illustrious list of fellows, both past and present. Other inductees in the 225th class include Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Angels in America author Tony Kushner, Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, Washington Post CEO Donald Graham, and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman. Past fellows have included George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein, and Winston Churchill.
According to the academy's president, Patricia Meyer Spacks, the fellows were chosen "through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large."
"Throughout its history, the Academy has convened the leading thinkers of the day, from diverse perspectives, to participate in projects and studies that advance the public good," said Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz.
The academy is an independent policy research center that focuses on complex and emerging problems such as scientific issues, global security, social policy, the humanities and culture, and education.
The new fellows and foreign honorary members will be formally recognized at the annual induction ceremony on October 8 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Written by Robert Tindol