Eight IAS Scholars Elected as Members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Eight scholars across all four Schools—Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Historical Studies, and Social Science—have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAA&S), an honor that recognizes accomplishments and leadership in academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research. 

From the School of Social Science, current Visitor Lila Abu-Lughod will join the 2023 class, along with past Members Ann McGrath (2013–14) and Laurence A. Ralph (2012–13), and past Visitor Michéle Lamont (1997), a cultural and comparative sociologist and author or coauthor of a dozen books.

At IAS, Abu-Lughod is working on "Acknowledgments: Making an Anthropologist." Generally, she is interested in anthropology and gender politics in and of the Arab and Muslim world. She has focused on questions of representation and ethics; the cultural politics of poetry, media, and museums; and the international circulation of rights discourses.

During her time here, McGrath researched Lady Mungo, the oldest human remains found in Australia, specifically how the complex aftermath of her 1968 “discovery” unearthed new conceptualizations of the history discipline. Ralph worked on a manuscript combining African-American studies, disability studies, and critical medical anthropology. In 2014, he published his first book Renegade Dreams: Living through Injury in Gangland Chicago

In the School of Natural Sciences, past Members Mirjam Cvetic (1995–96, 2002–03) and Stephen Wolfram (1983–86) will also join the class. Cvetic studies elementary particle physics ranging from the study of basic interactions to experimental tests of fundamental theories, and Wolfram is the founder and CEO of software company Wolfram Research, in addition to his academic work as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science. 

Karen Vogtmann, past Member in the School of Mathematics (1980–81), who works on geometric group theory, will also join the academy. Finally, Linda Colley, past Visitor in the School of Historical Studies (2010), an expert on British, imperial, and global history since 1700, was appointed as well. 

The AAA&S, founded in 1780, is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges. This year’s election of nearly 270 new members continues a 240-year tradition electing and engaging exceptional individuals at the top of their fields.