Price, Kornbluth and Six Senior Faculty Join American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Part of the Spring 2020 Awards and Honors Series
New members of the AAAS: Clockwise from top left: Rachel Kranton, Fan Wang, Richard Mooney, Vincent Price, Sally Kornbluth, Joseph Heitman, Blanche Capel and Geri Dawson.
New members of the AAAS: Clockwise from top left: Rachel Kranton, Fan Wang, Richard Mooney, Vincent Price, Sally Kornbluth, Joseph Heitman, Blanche Capel and Geri Dawson.

President Vincent Price, Provost Sally Kornbluth and six other Duke faculty members have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS) for 2020. They are among 276 artists, scholars, scientists and leaders honored this year.

“The members of the class of 2020 have excelled in laboratories and lecture halls, they have amazed on concert stages and in surgical suites, and they have led in board rooms and courtrooms,” Academy President David W. Oxtoby said in a statement. “With today’s election announcement, these new members are united by a place in history and by an opportunity to shape the future through the Academy’s work to advance the public good.”

Besides the Duke inductees, this year’s AAAS class includes singer and activist Joan Baez, former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and author Ann Patchett. This year’s members will join Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell, Robert Frost, Martha Graham, Margaret Mead, Milton Friedman and Martin Luther King, Jr.  as members of the AAAS. The organization was founded in 1780 by John Adams and John Hancock, who felt a need to recognize leading American thinkers. Duke School of Medicine Dean Emerita Nancy Andrews is currently the chair of the AAAS Board of Directors.

This year’s Duke members are:

Blanche Capel, Ph.D., James B. Duke Distinguished Professor in Cell Biology, School of Medicine

Capel studies the chemical conversation between cells and development of the vasculature as an embryonic animal’s sex is developed.

 

Geri Dawson, Ph.D., William Cleland Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, School of Medicine; Director, Duke Institute of Brain Sciences and Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development

Dawson is a world authority on autism spectrum disorders who studies early detection and intervention in ASD children.

 

Joseph Heitman, M.D., Ph.D., Chair and James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, School of Medicine

Heitman studies how yeast and pathogenic fungi sense and respond to their environments.

 

Sally A. Kornbluth, Ph.D., University Provost and Jo Rae Wright Distinguished Professor of Biology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.

Kornbluth is a cell biologist who studies the cell cycle and programmed cell death in frogs, mice and fruitflies to better understand cancer. She was appointed provost in 2014 and reappointed in 2019.

 

Rachel Kranton, Ph.D., Dean of Social Sciences and James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Economics, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.

Kranton is a co-developer, with George Akerlof, of Identity Economics, the study of how less formal networks and social networks can affect economic outcomes.

 

Richard D. Mooney, Ph.D., George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor in Neurobiology, School of Medicine.

Mooney studies how songbirds and mice learn and perceive by watching their brains at the level of individual neurons.

 

Vincent E. Price, Ph.D.,  University President and Walter Hines Page Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Political Science. 

Price studies public opinion, social influence and political communication. He was appointed Duke’s 10th President in 2017.

 

Fan Wang, Ph.D., Morris N. Broad Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology, School of Medicine.

Wang studies the path of the neural circuitry leading from a sensing organ, like the whisker of a mouse, to its destination in the brain.