Twelve Professors Join Select Academy

Twelve Harvard faculty members were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) this week, joining the prestigious organization dedicated to honoring achievement inside and outside academia.

Joining former Vice President Al Gore ’69, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in the 217-year-old academy are Fikes Professor of Pediatrics Nancy C. Andrews, Coolidge Professor of History David G. Blackbourn, Dean for the Social Sciences David M. Cutler ’87, Bernbaum Professor of English Literature Leo Damrosch, Professor of Astronomy Lars E. Hernquist, Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design Rem Koolhaas, University Art Museums Director Thomas W. Lentz, Beren Professor of Economics N. Gregory Mankiw, Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Professor of Geophysics Richard J. O’Connell, Meyer Professor of Middle Eastern History E. Roger Owen, and Professor of Psychology James H. Sidanius.

The prestigious award recognizes individual achievement, but Cutler said such individual success depends upon help from others.

“Whenever you are in this circumstance you think of people who you’ve worked with. When people call and congratulate me, I frequently write back and say, ‘Well actually, thank you’ because no one does this on their own,” Cutler said.

Harvard represented a larger portion of this year’s elected class than any other institution.

“I think it’s good to be a member and to have so many colleagues at Harvard who are members of this academy,” Narayanamurti said.

“It’s obviously a nice honor and recognition by your peers. In science and engineering research, your peer recognition is almost the most important thing.”

On October 6, the new members will officially join the Academy when AAAS holds its yearly induction ceremony at its headquarters in Cambridge.

“These are all people who have had a significant impact in their fields and on society,” said Paul Karoff, chief communication officer at AAAS. “We’re very excited to be welcoming them into the Academy.”