Emory Report
May 5, 2008
Volume 60, Number 30


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May 5, 2008
National academy taps Emory scholars

BY Elaine Justice

Provost Earl Lewis and primatologist Frans de Waal have been named Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

“I am thrilled, obviously, to be so honored,” said Lewis, who also serves as Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies. “I look forward to a growing list of Emory faculty so honored in future years.”

“I am very honored by the recognition from this prestigious organization, and also happy to be in the company of the provost of our university,” said de Waal, C.H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in Emory College’s Department of Psychology and director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Recognizing and celebrating Emory’s outstanding scholars is a key component for the strategic plan theme on Strengthening Faculty Distinction, said Claire Sterk, senior vice provost for academic planning and faculty development, and head of the initiative.

“Faculty are the driving force behind excellence in teaching, learning and research. Excellence is about changing the world through what we do at the University,” said Sterk, adding that Lewis’ and de Waal’s election “reveals the recognition by the larger scholarly community of the outstanding work that they and their colleagues do.”

Lewis, who holds degrees in history and psychology, is author and co-editor of seven books, among them the award-winning “To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans.” His most recent works are “The African American Urban Experience: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present,” co-edited and published by Palgrave Macmillan, and the co-written “Defending Diversity: Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan,” published by the University of Michigan Press.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2004 and the American Philosophical Society since 2005, de Waal is a world-renowned primatologist and best-selling author. He is widely recognized for his behavioral and evolutionary work with great apes as well as for 10 books, two of which the New York Times named “Notable Books of the Year.” In 2007 TIME magazine named de Waal a leading scientist and thinker in its “Top 100: the People Who Shape Our World” special issue.

Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector, the 190 new Fellows and 22 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.

“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.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 11 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.