Five faculty elected to prestigious academy
April 25, 2006
Five faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an independent policy research center that annually honors leading thinkers in the sciences, arts, humanities, public affairs and business.
The five researchers are among 175 new fellows elected to the academy, in a list that includes former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, film director Martin Scorsese and the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Paul Nurse. The academy, founded in 1780, is an international learned society composed of the world's leading scientists, scholars, artists, business people and public leaders.
"This is yet further evidence of the quality of faculty at UW-Madison," says Martin Cadwallader, dean of the UW-Madison Graduate School. "It's also instructive to note the variety of disciplines the new fellows represent — we have quality across the board."
The Wisconsin fellows include:
- Stephen Richard Carpenter, the Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor of Zoology at UW-Madison's Center for Limnology. An ecosystem ecologist, Carpenter is known for his innovative large-scale experiments in the field of freshwater ecology and his interdisciplinary approach to understanding ecosystems.
- Susan Coppersmith, a professor of physics and chair of the UW-Madison physics department. A theoretical physicist, Coppersmith is known for her work on "disordered" materials, in which molecules are randomly arranged, rather than in perfect alignment. Coppersmith's efforts to understand how such disorder might change the fundamental properties of different materials, has implications for a variety of industrial fields.
- William Cronon, the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies. The Bancroft Prize-winning historian studies American environmental history, and in particular, the history of human interactions with the natural world.
- Robert David Sack, the Clarence J. Glacken and John Bascom Professor of Geography and Integrated Liberal Studies. Known for his expansive approach to the field of geography, Sack studies how humans use the concepts of space and place to create connections between nature and society.
- James Lauriston Skinner, the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry. A theoretical chemist, Skinner has sought to understand how molecules move in different types of liquids, including water. The work has generated many new and fundamental insights into chemical reactions in liquids and the speed at which they occur.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences will induct its new fellows and honorary members in a ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.