Six Yale faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Six Yale faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The academy was founded in 1780 during the American Revolution by John Adams and other leaders of the new nation, in the words of its charter, to “cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” Today, it is an international society whose 4,600 fellows and 600 foreign honorary members are drawn from multidisciplinary fields in science, scholarship, business, public affairs, and the arts. They engage in research and work that explores critical contemporary issues facing society.

The Yale faculty members named as fellows are:

David Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition;

John Carlson, the Higgins Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology;

Laura Engelstein, the Henry S. McNeil Professor of Russian History;

Debra Ann Fischer, professor of astronomy;

Dr. Richard P. Lifton, Sterling Professor of Genetics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; and

Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor of Theater and English and director of theater studies.

Among the other newly elected fellows and honorary members are U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton LAW ’73, musician Paul McCartney; writer, actor, director and producer Mel Brooks; Amazon.com founder, president and chair Jeffrey Bezos; Melinda Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; film producer and director Terrence Malick; New York Public Library president Anthony W. Marx; Daniel Rose ’51, chair of the New York firm Rose Associates Inc.; pianist and conductor Andre Previn; actor and film director Clint Eastwood; playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon; artist Kiki Smith; and PBS “NewsHour” senior correspondent Judy Woodruff. A complete list of the new fellows can be found here.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 6 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.