The Institute for Advanced Study has appointed Veena Das and Lorraine Daston to its Board of Trustees. Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University, has been nominated by the Institute’s School of Social Science and succeeds Margaret Levi. Daston, who was nominated by the Institute’s School of Historical Studies, will succeed Carmela Vircillo Franklin, who served the last five years. Daston is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and serves as Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Both appointments were effective May 7, 2016.
A leading scholar in anthropology, Veena Das’ research spans across many fields. She is passionately interested in the question of how ethnography generates concepts; how we might treat philosophical and literary traditions from India and other regions as generative of theoretical and practical understanding of the world; how to render the texture and contours of everyday life and the way the everyday and the event are joined together in the lives of the urban poor in the making of the normal and the critical. Before joining Johns Hopkins University in 2000, Das taught at the Delhi School of Economics for more than thirty years and held a joint appointment at the New School for Social Research from 1997–2000. Das is the author of many books including, Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty (Fordham University Press 2015), Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (University of California Press 2007) and Four Lectures on Ethics (HAU Books 2015, with Michael Lambek, Webb Keane and Didier Fassin). She has co-edited, with Michael Jackson, Arthur Kleinman and Bhrigupati Singh, The Ground Between: Anthropologists Engage Philosophy (Duke University Press, 2014) and Living an Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium, co-edited with Clara Han (University of California Press 2015). She has received many accolades for her work including the Nessim Habif Prize by the University of Geneva (2014), the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2009) and the Anders Retzius Award of the Swedish Society of Anthropology and Geography (1995). Additionally, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Chicago (2000) and the University of Edinburgh (2014). She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Academy of Scientists from Developing Countries. Das received her Ph.D. from the University of Delhi in 1970.
Lorraine Daston, a leading historian of science, has published on a wide range of topics including the history of probability and statistics, wonders in early modern science, the emergence of the scientific fact, scientific models, objects of scientific inquiry, the moral authority of nature and the history of scientific objectivity. Daston’s many books include How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality (University of Chicago Press 2014), co-authored with Paul Erikson et al., and Objectivity (MIT Press 2007), co-authored with Peter Galison. Daston has received many awards for her contributions to scholarship including the Lichtenberg Medal from the Goettingen Academy of Sciences (2014), the Schelling Prize from the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (2012) and the Sarton Medal from the History of Science Society (2012). Daston also has an honorary doctorate from Princeton University (2013). She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and a Permanent Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Daston received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1973.