One call out of the blue – $500,000 – No strings
CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 22 new MacArthur Fellows for 2011. Working across a broad spectrum of endeavors, the Fellows include an architect, a sports medicine researcher, a cellist, a developmental biologist, a radio producer, a neuropathologist, a conservator, a poet, a technologist, and a public historian. All were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.
The recipients learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations or reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.
"This has been a year of great change and extraordinary challenge, and we are once again reminded of the potential individuals have to make a difference in the world and shape our future," said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. "The MacArthur Fellows exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor."
Among the recipients this year are –
- a radio producer engaging a new generation of listeners with audio explorations of scientific and philosophical questions that recreate the thrill of discovery (Jad Abumrad);
- a sports medicine researcher advancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related brain injuries to improve the safety of athletes of all ages (Kevin Guskiewicz);
- a technologist inventing low-cost, easy-to-deploy sensor systems to enable users to track household energy consumption and to make buildings more responsive to our needs (Shwetak Patel);
- a clinical psychologist deepening understanding of self-injury and suicide among adolescents and adults in the interest of saving lives and influencing mental health care in our society (Matthew Nock);
- an architect integrating conventional materials, bold yet functional designs, and ecologically friendly technology in a wide range of striking structures (Jeanne Gang);
- a parasitologist / virologist decoding the genomes of virulent human pathogens that cause rare diseases and threaten the lives of millions in the developing world (Elodie Ghedin);
- a long-form journalist crafting richly illuminating accounts of ordinary people in such rapidly changing societies as Reform Era China (Peter Hessler);
- a percussionist and composer infusing Latin jazz with bold new energy and sound, dazzling technical abilities, and rhythmically adventurous compositions (Dafnis Prieto);
- an evolutionary geneticist addressing such fundamental questions as why some species reproduce sexually and why some species carry more than one copy of each gene (Sarah Otto);
- a public historian reframing the history of colonial America in works that illuminate the complex relationship between African and Cherokee peoples (Tiya Miles); and
- a poet and translator mining the classical world and poetic techniques to craft imaginative explorations of contemporary life that evoke insights about antiquity's relevance for today (A. E. Stallings).
Summary information about the MacArthur Fellows is attached. Additional biographical information, video interviews, and downloadable photos are online at www.macfound.org/fellows.
"The call from the Foundation is the culmination of an intensive year or longer review of the creative efforts and promise of each Fellow. It comes out of the blue and offers the new Fellows the gift of time and the unfettered opportunity to explore, create, and contribute," said Daniel J. Socolow, director of the MacArthur Fellows Program.
The selection process begins with formal nominations. Hundreds of anonymous nominators assist the Foundation in identifying people to be considered for a MacArthur Fellowship. Nominations are accepted only from invited nominators, a list that is constantly renewed throughout the year. They are chosen from many fields and challenged to identify people who demonstrate exceptional creativity and promise. A Selection Committee of roughly a dozen members, who also serve anonymously, meets regularly to review files, narrow the list, and make final recommendations to the Foundation's Board of Directors. The number of Fellows selected each year is not fixed; typically, it varies between 20 and 25.
Including this year's Fellows, 850 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82 at the time of their selection, have been named MacArthur Fellows since the inaugural class in 1981.
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at www.macfound.org.
Complete List of MacArthur Fellows for 2011
New York, NY
Radio Host and Producer engaging a new generation of
listeners with audio explorations of scientific and philosophical
questions that evoke a sense of adventure and recreate the thrill
Elder Rights Lawyer raising awareness about and seeking
solutions to the largely hidden but immense problems of elder
abuse and neglect.
Economist offering new insight into such issues as racial
discrimination, labor market inequalities, and educational
underachievement and illuminating the causes and
consequences of economic disparity in American society.
Architect integrating conventional materials, striking yet
functional designs, and ecologically friendly technology in bold
structures that challenge the aesthetic and technical possibilities
of the art form.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Parasitologist / Virologist decoding the genomes of virulent
human pathogens that cause such diseases as leishmaniasis,
sleeping sickness, and river blindness and threaten the lives of
millions in the developing world.
Condensed Matter Physicist improving our capacity to control
the spatial organization of ultra-cold atoms and applying these
advances to both fundamental inquiry and technology.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
Sports Medicine Researcher combining laboratory and on-the-
field investigations to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and
prevention of sports-related brain injuries and to improve the
safety of athletes of all ages.
Long-Form Journalist crafting keenly observed accounts of
ordinary people responding to the complexities of life in such
rapidly changing societies as Reform Era China.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Public Historian reframing and reinterpreting the history of our
diverse nation in works that illuminate the complex
interrelationships between African and Cherokee peoples in
Clinical Psychologist deepening understanding of self-injury
and suicide among adolescents and adults by combining
epidemiology, laboratory experiments, and real-time
psychological assessments in the interest of saving lives and
influencing mental health care in our society.
Young People's Chorus of New York City
New York, NY
Choral Conductor and Composer shaping the future of choral
singing for children by expanding access from inner-city to elite
schools and redefining the artistic and expressive boundaries of
the youth choir.
University of British Columbia
Evolutionary Geneticist addressing fundamental questions of
population and evolutionary biology, such as why some species
reproduce sexually and why some species carry more than one
copy of each gene.
University of Washington, Seattle
Sensor Technologist and Computer Scientist inventing low-
cost, easy-to-deploy sensor systems that leverage existing
infrastructures to enable users to track household energy
consumption and to make the buildings we live in more
responsive to our needs.
New York, NY
Jazz Percussionist and Composer electrifying audiences with
dazzling technical abilities and rhythmically adventurous
compositions while infusing Latin jazz with a bold new energy
Poet composing deceptively simple verse of wisdom and
elegance, grounded in explorations of familiar ideas and
experiences, and surprising us with the possibilities of the
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Organometallic Chemist reigniting research on an important
chemical pathway and developing methods to enable
modification of complex molecules with important implications
for pharmaceuticals and other products we use every day.
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Neuropathologist integrating microscopy, magnetic resonance
imaging, and clinical examination to identify the mechanisms
underlying frontotemporal dementia, track disease progression,
and create effective therapeutic interventions.
Rutgers University, Camden
European Historian exploring the development of political
thought and criticism in early modern Europe and shedding new
light on the origins of the modern state.
Poet and Translator mining the classical world and traditional
poetic techniques to craft imaginative explorations of
contemporary life that evoke startling insights about antiquity's
relevance for today.
Ubaldo Vitali, Inc.
Conservator and Silversmith drawing on deep knowledge of
past and modern metalworking techniques and rigorous
scholarship to restore historical masterworks and to create
original works of art.
New York, NY
Cellist combining technical precision with impassioned
musicianship in performances of both traditional and
contemporary music and expanding the cello repertoire through
collaborations with leading composers.
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI
Developmental Biologist unraveling the complex molecular
choreography of stem cell division and investigating how factors
such as aging affect the capacity of stem cells to replace
specialized cells that are injured, infected, or wear out.
SOURCE MacArthur Foundation