Susan Kalisz, the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Professor and head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences class of 2020.
“I am honored to join such a distinguished group of scholars and leaders in the arts and sciences,” Kalisz said. “It’s still a bit of a shock, but a wonderful piece of good news during the uncertain time we are all experiencing.”
The Academy announced its newest members April 23, 2020, with the election of 276 artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors.
“The members of the class of 2020 have excelled in laboratories and lecture halls, they have amazed on concert stages and in surgical suites, and they have led in board rooms and courtrooms,” said Academy President David W. Oxtoby. “With today’s election announcement, these new members are united by a place in history and by an opportunity to shape the future through the Academy’s work to advance the public good.”
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good.
Two hundred and forty years later, the Academy continues to dedicate itself to recognizing excellence and relying on expertise – both of which seem more important than ever.
“We congratulate these incoming members of the Academy for excelling in a broad array of fields; we want to celebrate them and learn from them,” said Nancy C. Andrews, Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Academy. “When Academy members come together, bringing their expertise and insights to our work, they help develop new insights and potential solutions for some of the most complex challenges we face.”
The Academy’s projects and publications are focused on the arts and humanities, democracy and justice, education, global affairs, and science.
Current Academy members represent today’s innovative thinkers in every field and profession, including more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.
The new members join the company of Academy members elected before them, including Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson and Maria Mitchell in the nineteenth; Robert Frost, Martha Graham, Margaret Mead, Milton Friedman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the twentieth; and – in the past two decades – Antonin Scalia, Michael Bloomberg, John Lithgow, Judy Woodruff, and Bryan Stevenson.
International Honorary Members include Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Laurence Olivier, Mary Leakey, John Maynard Keynes, Akira Kurosawa, and Nelson Mandela.
The complete class of 2020 is listed here.