Four MIT professors are among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected this week to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), an honor recognizing distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
This year’s new NAS members include Barbara Liskov, Institute Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Subra Suresh ScD ‘81, the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering and current National Science Foundation director; Robert Townsend, the Elizabeth and James Killian (1926) Professor of Economics; and Richard Young, professor of biology at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
Including these four, 78 members of the MIT faculty now hold NAS membership. A total of 199 MIT affiliates — including emeritus and former faculty, current and former staff, and alumni — are members of the NAS.
In addition to Suresh, six other MIT alumni were elected as NAS members this year:
- John B. Bell ’75, senior staff scientist and group leader, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Jagdish N. Bhagwati PhD ’67, Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics and professor of political science, Columbia University
- Pablo G. Debenedetti SM ’61, PhD ’85, Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science and professor of chemical and biological engineering, Princeton University
- John T. Groves III ’65, professor of chemistry, Princeton University
- Marcia J. Rieki ’72, PhD ’76, Regents’ Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona
- William R. Young PhD ’81, professor of physical oceanography, University of California at San Diego
The NAS, when founded in 1863, called upon a group of scholars to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever requested by the government. Today, NAS membership continues to be one of the highest honors afforded to scientists and engineers.
Those elected this week bring the total number of active NAS members to 2,152 and the total number of foreign associates to 430.