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by Kara Furlong | Posted on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 — 4:06 PM
Colin Dayan, the Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt, was among 180 influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors and institutional leaders inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences during a ceremony held in Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 6.
Founded in 1780, the academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy and education.
“Induction recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals, who together with the academy will work to advance the greater good,” said AAAS President Leslie Berlowitz. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic and policy challenges of the day.”
Along with Dayan, participants in the ceremony included Yale University historian David Blight, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, American baritone Thomas Hampson, Supreme Court advocate Maureen Mahoney, University of Wisconsin biologist Margaret McFall-Ngai, business leader and philanthropist Penny Pritzker and Cornell University mathematician Steven Strogatz.
Dayan’s diverse areas of research include Caribbean literature, religion and history (especially Haiti and Jamaica); American literature; anthropology; and the law. Her books are The Story of Cruel and Unusual (MIT Press), The Law Is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons (Princeton University Press) and Haiti, History and the Gods (University of California Press).
Vanderbilt AAAS fellows named in past years have included the late Chancellor Emeritus Alexander Heard; Jon Kaas, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Psychology; John Oates, the Thomas F. Frist Sr. Chair in Medicine; and Centennial Professor of Psychology Randolph Blake.
Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the AAAS has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The current membership includes more than 300 Nobel laureates, some 100 Pulitzer Prize winners and many of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers.
View a complete list of the new AAAS members.
Kara Furlong, (615) 322-NEWS
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