MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ― On Tuesday, April 19, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced its 2011 class of members, and Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, was included among them in recognition of his myriad contributions to the environmental movement.
Each year, the Academy chooses its members from among the world’s most accomplished leaders in academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts. The 212 new members join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. New members are nominated and elected by current members, and contribute to Academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and education.
“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Academy President Leslie Berlowitz. “The knowledge and expertise of our members give the Academy a unique capacity — and responsibility — to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.”
Among the 2011 class of scholars, scientists, writers, artists, civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders are winners of the Nobel, Pulitzer, and Pritzker Prizes; the Turing Award; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; and Kennedy Center Honors, Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy awards.
McKibben is an author and environmentalist who, with the help of Middlebury students and recent alumni, founded the advocacy group 350.org. His most recent book is "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet." He is joined in the class of 2011 by such luminaries as singer-songwriters Paul Simon and Bob Dylan; public health specialist and former Mexican Minister of Health Julio Frenk; sociologist Claude Fischer, whose research illuminated social networks in urban settings; jazz icon Dave Brubeck; documentary filmmaker Ken Burns; actor Daniel Day-Lewis; and playwright John Guare.
A list of the new Academy members can be viewed at http://www.amacad.org/news/alphalist2011.pdf.