On Sept. 20, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named 25 new MacArthur Fellows for 2005. Each received a phone call from the Foundation informing them that they will be given $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.
MacArthur Fellows are selected for their creativity, originality, and potential. By providing resources without stipulations or reporting requirements, the MacArthur Foundation offers the opportunity for Fellows to accelerate their current activities or take their work in new directions. The unusual level of independence afforded to the Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors.
“The call can be life-changing, coming as it does out of the blue and offering highly creative women and men the gift of time and the unfettered opportunity to explore, create, and contribute,” says Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the MacArthur Foundation.
Recipients this year include:
- Terry Belanger, university professor and honorary curator of special collections, University of Virginia — rare book preservationist;
- Lu Chen, assistant professor of neurobiology, University of California / Berkeley — neuroscientist;
- Aaron Dworkin, founder and president, The Sphinx Organization (Detroit) — music educator;
- Claire Gmachl, associate professor of electrical engineering, Princeton University — laser technologist;
- Sue Goldie, associate professor of health decision science, Harvard University / School of Public Health — physician / researcher;
- Steven Goodman, field biologist, department of zoology, The Field Museum of Natural History Chicago — Madagascar conservation biologist;
- Nicole King, assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, University of California / Berkeley — molecular biologist;
- Jon Kleinberg, professor of computer science, Cornell University — computer scientist;
- Pehr Harbury, associate professor of biochemistry, Stanford University — biochemist
- Michael Manga, associate professor of earth and planetary science, University of California / Berkeley — geophysicist;
- Todd Martinez, professor of chemistry, University of Illinois / Urbana-Champaign —theoretical chemist;
- Kevin M. Murphy, George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago / Graduate School of Business — economist;
- Olufunmilayo Olopade, professor of medicine, University of Chicago Hospitals — clinician / researcher; and
- Emily Thompson, associate professor of history, University of California / San Diego — aural historian.
“For the past 25 years, each announcement of new MacArthur Fellows has been an opportunity to recognize the critical role played in society by highly creative people working across a wide spectrum of activity,” says Fanton. “MacArthur Fellows reveal the wonders of the natural world, inspire us with their original thoughts and writing and offer important new approaches for addressing significant social challenges on local, national and global scales. Through our support of these 25 remarkable people, we seek to foster their future creative works, as well as to highlight the potential of the individual in shaping a better future for us all.”
The MacArthur Fellows Program was the first major grantmaking initiative of the Foundation. The inaugural class of MacArthur Fellows was named in 1981. Including this year’s Fellows, 707 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82, have been named MacArthur Fellows since the inception of the program.
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