The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) astronomer and professor at the Johns Hopkins University Adam Riess as an Honorary Member.
He joins a new class of Academy members drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector.
The 212 scholars, scientists, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders come from 20 states and 15 countries, and range in age from 37 to 86. Represented among this year's newly elected members are more than 50 universities and more than a dozen corporations, as well as museums, national laboratories and private research institutes, media outlets and foundations.
Riess is a leader of a team that, in 1998 co-discovered "dark energy", a mysterious repulsive force in the universe. Dark energy is the biggest mystery now confronting astrophysics, and Riess continues doing observations to deduce what dark energy is.
The 38-year-old astrophysicist has been at STScI since 1999. From 1996 to 1999, he was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Riess is a 1992 graduate of MIT. He was awarded a doctorate in astrophysics from Harvard University in 1996.
"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.'"
An independent policy research center, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its diverse membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives the Academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current studies focus on science, technology and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 11, at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes some 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
For more information, visit the Academy's release at http://www.amacad.org .
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.