UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Two professors elected to American Philosophical Society

– Two University of California, Berkeley, faculty members are among 38 new members recently elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States. The society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources and community outreach.

Three UC Berkeley alumni also were awarded membership to the society, which today has 975 elected members, 809 resident members and 166 international members from more than two dozen foreign countries. Since 1900, more than 260 members have received the Nobel Prize.

The new members on the UC Berkeley faculty are Francesca Rochberg, the Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern Studies, and Randy Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

The UC Berkeley alumni are Joseph Leo Koerner, who received his M.A. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in 1988 in the history of art and is professor of the history of art and architecture at Harvard University; Joyce Marcus, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1969 with an A.B. in anthropology and is a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan; and Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who earned her M.S. in 1979 and her Ph.D. in 1981 in chemistry from UC Berkeley.

In addition to many professors from prestigious universities around the world, other new members announced April 26 include Mark Morris, founder and director of the Mark Morris Dance Group, whose West Coast home is Cal Performances; former U.S. Vice President Albert Gore Jr.; David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker; filmmaker Martin Scorsese; Google Vice President Vinton T. Cerf; and U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

The American Philosophical Society honors and engages leading scholars, scientists and professionals through elected membership and opportunities for multidisciplinary, intellectual fellowship. It supports research, discovery and education through grants and fellowships, lectures, publications, prizes and exhibitions, and serves scholars through a research library of manuscripts and other collections internationally recognized for their enduring historic value.

Early members of the society included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison and John Marshall. In the 19th century, John James Audubon, Robert Fulton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison and Louis Pasteur became members. Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, and George Marshall were elected to the society in the 20th century.

In 1789, at Benjamin Franklin's invitation, Russian Princess Ekaterina Dashkova became the first woman elected to the society, and it was another 80 years before another woman received membership. Dashkova was the first woman in the world to head a national academy of sciences - the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Russia.