Eight Stanford scholars elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 25, 2006

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), one of the country's oldest honorary learned societies, announced on April 24 the election of 175 new fellows and 20 new foreign honorary members, including eight Stanford University scholars--Lawrence Bobo, Savas Dimopoulos, Margaret Fuller, Larry Kramer, Lawrence Lessig, Susan McConnell, Franco Moretti and Stephen Shenker.

Founded in 1780 by Revolutionary leaders John Adams, John Hancock and James Bowdoin, the academy provides a forum for scholars, professionals and government leaders to work together on the needs and problems of society. With 4,000 American fellows and 600 foreign honorary members, the academy hosts several research programs addressing pressing contemporary issues, such as the role of the humanities in American culture, global security and the use of technology in global development.

The election of this year's class brings the number of Stanford scholars in the academy to 230.

Lawrence D. Bobo, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, is an authority on race, ethnicity and social inequality. A professor of sociology, Bobo joined the Stanford faculty from Harvard University in 2005. He directs the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Program in African and African American Studies, and is currently conducting a study of race, crime and public opinion in the United States.

Bobo is a founding editor of the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, co-author of Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations (1997), senior editor of Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles (2000) and co-editor of Racialized Politics: The Debate on Racism in America (2000). Bobo was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. He earned a doctorate in sociology at the University of Michigan in 1984.

Savas Dimopoulos, professor of physics, proposed with Howard Georgi in 1981 the supersymmetric Standard Model, the leading theory for particle physics beyond the Standard Model. The supersymmetric model predicts that every known particle--electrons, photons, quarks and so on--has a corresponding superparticle. Dimopoulos also proposed with Nima Arkani-Hamed the theory of split supersymmetry, which, if confirmed, would lend support to the idea that our universe and its laws are not unique and that there is an enormous variety of universes, each with its own distinct physical laws.

A member of the Stanford Physics Department faculty since 1979, Dimopoulos also has conducted research at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Harvard, Boston University and CERN. In 2006, he received the J. J. Sakurai Prize in Theoretical Physics and the Tomassoni Prize in Physics. He also has received fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. Dimopoulos earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Houston and a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago.

Margaret T. Fuller, the Reed-Hodgson Professor in Human Biology and chair of the Department of Developmental Biology, investigates the mechanisms that regulate and mediate male gamete differentiation using the laboratory fruit fly Drosophila as a model system. A central focus of her work also concerns the mechanisms that regulate stem cell behavior.

Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 1990, Fuller was a member of the University of Colorado faculty. She received a doctorate in microbiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and then trained as a postdoctoral fellow in developmental genetics at Indiana University.

Larry Kramer, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law, has been dean of Stanford Law School since September 2004. Prior to that, he was on the law school faculty at New York University, the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. Kramer's areas of interest include federalism, separation of powers, constitutional law and U.S. legal history. His early writing focused on the conflict of laws, and many of his ideas are embodied in a leading casebook in that field. His latest book, The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review (2004), examines the ongoing debate about the relationship of the U.S. Supreme Court to politics.

Kramer received a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a law degree from the University of Chicago. He also clerked for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.

Lawrence Lessig is the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law and founder of the Law School's Center for Internet and Society. He teaches and writes about constitutional law, contracts and the law of cyberspace. He also chairs the Creative Commons project and serves on the boards of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Public Library of Science. Before coming to Stanford in 2000, he was on the law school faculty at Harvard and the University of Chicago.

The author of Free Culture (2004) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999), Lessig was named one of the Top 50 Visionaries by Scientific American. He represented website operator Eric Eldred in the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act. Lessig earned bachelor's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Yale University. He also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Susan K. McConnell, the Susan B. Ford Professor of Biological Sciences, studies the critical processes that result in the development of the central nervous system, including the production of neurons from progenitor cells, the migration of young neurons into appropriate positions within the brain and the formation of specific synaptic contacts. These processes ultimately generate the formation of precisely wired neuronal circuits that underlie complex behaviors.

McConnell joined the Stanford faculty in 1989 shortly after receiving her doctorate in neurobiology from Harvard. She is the recipient of several science and teaching honors, including a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship, a Terman Fellowship and the Hoagland Teaching Prize at Stanford.

Franco Moretti is the Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of English and Comparative Literature. At Stanford since 2000, Moretti founded the Center for the Study of the Novel and served as its first director.

His 2005 book, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History, used a quantitative approach to the study of literature that includes historical and comparative contexts and charts a cultural geography for literary genres. His other books include Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), Modern Epic (1995) and Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998). Moretti is at work on a five-volume collaborative study of the novel throughout all history and in all forms. He earned a doctorate in modern literature from the University of Rome in 1972.

Stephen H. Shenker, the Richard Herschel Weiland Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics, focuses his research on the basic physics of quantum gravity. He studies string theory and a bigger, more basic theory called M theory--the "M" stands for "membrane," "matrix" or "mother" to indicate its foundational nature. Shenker's work added "matrix" to this list. He is currently interested in applications of these ideas to cosmology and the interior of black holes.

Before joining the Stanford Physics Department in 1998, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago and at Rutgers University, where he helped found the New High Energy Theory Center. His honors include a Sloan Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He received a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Harvard and a doctorate in physics from Cornell University.

Other AAAS fellows elected this year include former U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton; U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts; film director Martin Scorsese; actor Alan Alda; New Yorker editor David Remnick; and San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas. This year's fellows and honorary members will be inducted on October 7 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
By Mark Shwartz

Susan Ipaktchian, Dawn Levy, Barbara Palmer and Lisa Trei contributed to this article.

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