April 20, 2011

UW professor elected member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

A UW professor is among some of the worlds most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts to be elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ann E . Nelson, professor of physics , is one of 212 new members announced by the academy.

Ann E. Nelson

Ann E. Nelson

As part of the Particle Theory Group, Nelson has collaborated on a number of significant theories, including one that could explain the origin of matter in the universe and one that could explain how an observed imbalance between matter and anti-matter originated. Her current research interests include the theory and phenomena related to physics that go beyond the standard model, the view of fundamental forces that affect subatomic particles.

Nelson received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. She earned her doctorate at Harvard University and joined the UW faculty in 1994.

The new AAAS members join one of the nations most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, and education.

“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Leslie Berlowitz, academy president. “The knowledge and expertise of our members give the Academy a unique capacity – and responsibility – to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.”

Among the 2011 class of scholars, scientists, writers, artists, civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders are winners of the Nobel, Pulitzer, and Pritzker Prizes; the Turing Award; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; and Kennedy Center Honors, Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy awards.

The Academy elected 16 Foreign Honorary Members from Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Peru; Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 1, at the academys headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.