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April 23, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa De Nike
President Ronald J. Daniels and three Johns Hopkins University faculty members are among the 210 fellows elected to the 229th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to Daniels, the academy elected Andrew Paul Feinberg, the King Fahd Professor of Molecular Medicine in the university's School of Medicine; Jane Guyer, professor of anthropology in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; and Barbara Landau, the Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of Cognitive Science, also in the Krieger School.
The academy was founded during the American Revolution by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and others. Its dual role is to honor excellence in the arts and sciences and to provide independent, nonpartisan study of important societal issues.
Daniels took office in March as Johns Hopkins' 14th
president and previously served as provost at the University
of Pennsylvania and dean of law at the University of
Toronto. Throughout his career, he has been deeply committed
to the role of universities in promoting global
understanding. His research focuses on law, economics and
public policy, in such areas as corporate and securities
law, social and economic regulation and the role of law and
legal institutions in promoting third world development.
Daniels is author or editor of seven books, most recently
Rule of Law Reform and Development (2008), on the
role of legal institutions in the economies of third world
countries, and Rethinking the Welfare State (2005),
an analysis of global social welfare policies, especially
the effectiveness of government vouchers (both co-authored
with Michael Trebilcock).
Feinberg is director of
the Center for Epigenetics in the Institute for
Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine. He is considered a pioneer in
epigenetics, a field that encompasses the study of non-DNA
sequence-related heredity. Epigenetics literally means
"beyond genes" and refers to non-DNA modifications to genes,
modifications that carry information content and are
maintained during cell division. In 2004, Feinberg founded
the Johns Hopkins Center for the Epigenetics of Common Human
Disease to help multidisciplinary teams investigate the role
of epigenetics not only in cancer, but also in aging and
common disease. He has spearheaded efforts for genome-wide
technology for epigenetics research.
Guyer joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2002 as a
professor in the Anthropology Department and added a
secondary appointment in the History Department in
2007. She became a member of the National Academy of
Sciences in 2008. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, she spent
seven years as director of the Program of African Studies at
Northwestern University. She also served on the faculties at
Harvard University and Boston University. Guyer has
devoted her entire career to studying economic transformations
in West Africa, particularly the productive economy, the
division of labor and the management of money. She
has served on several
national committees including for Oxfam America, the Social
Science Research Council, NSF-Anthropology, The African
Studies Association and an International Advisory Group
appointed by The World Bank.
Landau is the Dick and Lydia Todd Professor and chair of the Department of Cognitive Science. Her work focuses on language learning, spatial representation and the relationships between these foundational systems of human knowledge. In particular, Landau investigates these issues in normally developing children and in people who have severe spatial impairments due to a rare genetic condition known as Williams syndrome. She serves on the governing board of the Cognitive Science Society, is a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, and recently completed a term on the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association. She is a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. In 2008, she became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Last month, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation named her a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow. She is at work on a Book to be titled Gene, Brain, Mind and Development: The Puzzle of Williams Syndrome.
This year's 210 new AAAS fellows and foreign honorary members were nominated and elected to the academy by current members. A broad-based membership of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business, allows the academy to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research. Daniels, Landau, Guyer and Feinberg will be inducted on Oct. 10 in Cambridge, Mass., alongside other fellows including 1993 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela; U2 lead singer and advocate for humanitarian causes Bono; Academy Award winning actors Dustin Hoffman and James Earl Jones; green technology proponent John Doerr; author Thomas Pynchon; Civil War historian James McPherson; U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; National Public Radio journalist Susan Stamberg; California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George; and chemical engineer Adam Heller, who invented the lithium chloride battery and photochemically self-cleaning windows. A press release and a list of new fellows is available online at www.amacad.org/news/new2009.aspx