Atmospheric chemistry professor Kimberly Prather is among four UC San Diego faculty members who were recently elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies.
Prather, who holds appointments at both Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, is a pioneer in the study of the role that aerosols — whether natural or produced by human activities — play in the atmosphere and how they influence climate.
“I am deeply honored to have been elected to this prestigious academy which has such a long and interesting history,” said Prather. “I’m really looking forward to working with the broad range of interdisciplinary members in addressing current and future societal challenges.”
In all, 229 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector received the honor, according to the academy. Other new members announced Monday include CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour and famed economist Myron Scholes. A center for independent policy research, the Academy celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year. A complete list of the 2010 class of new members can be accessed at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at www.amacad.org. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 9 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass
Other winners from UCSD were William James McGinnis, distinguished professor, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology and Herbert Stern Chair in Biology; Forman Arthur Williams, professor of engineering, physics and combustion and director, Center for Energy and Combustion Research; and Joel Sobel, professor of economics.
Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives the organization a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current projects focus on science and technology; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.
“We are pleased to welcome these distinguished individuals into the academy,” said Leslie Berlowitz, American Academy of Arts and Sciences chief executive officer and William T. Golden chair in a release issued by the academy. “We look forward to drawing on their knowledge and expertise to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing issues of the day.”
Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” 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.