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Biology Professor William McGinnis Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 19, 2010
Media Contact: Kim McDonald

Photo of William McGinnis

William McGinnis

Biology Professor William McGinnis has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of four faculty members at UC San Diego to receive membership this year into one of the world's most prestigious honorary societies.

They are among 290 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector elected today to the 2010 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A center for independent policy research, the academy celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year.

The four UCSD faculty members elected to the academy this year are:

  • Kimberly A. Prather, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Forman Arthur Williams, Professor of Engineering, Physics and Combustion; Director, Center for Energy and Combustion Research
  • William James McGinnis, Distinguished Professor, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology; Herbert Stern Chair in Biology
  • Joel Sobel, Professor of Economics

Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current projects focus on science and technology; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture and education.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9, at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

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