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News Release

Two U of M faculty named American Academy of Arts

Contacts: Mark Cassutt, University News Service, (612) 624-8038

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (04/22/2009) —The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has announced the election of leaders in the sciences, humanities, arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector. The 210 new Fellows and 19 Foreign Honorary Members join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a center for independent policy research.

Among those elected this year are two faculty from the University of Minnesota.  The new Fellows are: 

John Freeman, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Political Science. Freeman is internationally recognized for his achievements and speaks, writes and develops courses for institutions all over  the world. Freeman has held many professional posts including President of the American Political Science Association's Section for Political Methodology and Co-Chair of the Midwest Political Science Association's Annual Meeting. In addition, he has been a member of the National Science Foundation's Political Science research panel and of three of the Foundation's select committees. He currently serves on the editorial boards of several major research journals. At present, Freeman is engaged in three major research projects. 

Stephen Polasky, the Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological and Environmental Economics. Polasky is a faculty member of the department of applied economics and of the department of ecology, evolution and behavior. He is also affiliated with Conservation Biology, Water Resources, Forest Resources, and the Law School. Prior to coming to Minnesota he was the senior staff economist for environment and resources for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers 1998-1999. He is a Fellow at the university's Institute on the  Environment. 

The scholars, scientists, jurists, writers, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders come from 28 states and 11 countries and range in age from 33 to 83. They represent universities, museums, national laboratories, private research institutes, businesses, and foundations. This year’s group also includes Nobel laureates and recipients of the Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, Academy, Grammy and Tony awards and the National Medal of Arts.

The Academy, established in 1780 by founders of the nation, undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current projects focus on science, technology and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education. The Academy’s membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research.

“Since 1780, the Academy has served the public good by convening leading thinkers and doers from diverse perspectives to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing issues of the day,” said Leslie Berlowitz, chief executive officer and William T. Golden Chair. “I look forward to welcoming into the Academy these new members to help continue that tradition.”

“These remarkable men and women have made singular contributions to their fields, and to the world,” said Academy President Emilio Bizzi. “By electing them as members, the academy honors them and their work, and they, in turn, honor us.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 10, at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. 

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts, College of Biological Sciences, Law School, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

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