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UC Berkeley Press Release

New Berkeley AAAS inductees
New Berkeley members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (from left): Alexis Bell, F. Michael Christ, Christopher Edley, Saul Perlmutter, Mary Power, Jeremy Thorner and Margaret Weir

Academy of Arts & Sciences elects 7 Berkeley faculty

– Seven University of California, Berkeley, faculty members, in company with the likes of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt and UC Berkeley alumna and chef Alice Waters, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced today (Monday, April 30).

They are among 227 scholars, scientists, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders from 27 states and 13 countries, ranging in age from 36 to 92. Represented among this year's newly elected members are individuals from 70 universities, including seven presidents or chancellors; more than a dozen corporations; as well as museums, research institutes, media outlets and foundations.

UC Berkeley members of this year's class are: Alexis T. Bell, professor of chemical engineering and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); F. Michael Christ, professor of mathematics; Christopher F. Edley Jr., professor and dean of the School of Law (Boalt Hall); Saul Perlmutter, senior scientist at LBNL and UC Berkeley professor of physics; Mary Eleanor Power, professor of integrative biology and director of the California Biodiversity Center; Jeremy W. Thorner, the William V. Power Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology; and Margaret Weir, professor of sociology and of political science.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding leaders in their fields to the academy," said academy president Emilio Bizzi. "Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large."

Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members. A broad-based membership, comprised of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business, gives the academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.

The academy will welcome this year's new class at its annual induction ceremony on Oct. 6 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected as fellows and foreign honorary members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. An independent policy research center, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current academy research focuses on science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education.