Arts + Culture

7 faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Seven UCLA faculty members were elected Monday to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy-research centers.
 
Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector, the academy's 191 new fellows and 22 new foreign honorary members are leaders in their fields and include Nobel laureates and recipients of Pulitzer and Pritzker prizes, Academy and Grammy awards, and Kennedy Center Honors.
 
Among the new fellows are famed blues guitarist B.B. King, former chief executive officer of eBay Margaret Whitman, director and screenwriter Pedro Almodvar, two-time cabinet secretary and former White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III, and two university presidents.

The UCLA faculty members who will join the august group are:
Utpal Banerjee
Department chair and professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology; professor of biological chemistry
 
Alessandro Duranti
Department chair and professor of anthropology
 
Thom Mayne
Professor of architecture
 
Calvin Normore
Professor of philosophy
 
Theodore Porter
Professor of history and department vice chair for undergraduate affairs
 
Charles Ray
Professor of sculpture
 
Debora Silverman
Professor of history and art history
Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes some 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

"The Academy honors excellence by electing to membership remarkable men and women who have made preeminent contributions to their fields, and to the world," said academy President Emilio Bizzi. "We are pleased to welcome into the Academy these new members to help advance our founders' goal of 'cherishing knowledge and shaping the future.'"

UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer more than 300 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Four alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
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