Eight members of the MIT faculty-an unusually large number that includes two Nobel laureates-were elected to the National Academy of Sciences on April 28 in recognition of their "distinguished and continuing achievements in original research."
The Nobelists chosen by NAS were Dr. Jerome I. Friedman, Institute Professor and professor of physics, and Dr. Henry W. Kendall, professor of physics, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1990.
The others elected from MIT were:
Dr. Robert G. Gallager, Fujitsu Professor of Electrical Engineering and codirector of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems.
Dr. Robert S. Langer, Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.
Dr. George Lusztig, professor of mathematics.
Dr. Robert D. MacPherson, professor of mathematics.
Dr. Richard R. Schrock, Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry.
Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Chemistry and professor of biology.
Their election brings to 96 the number of living NAS members
from MIT, which places MIT third among all universities and institutions, behind Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley. Many MIT alumni/ae also are NAS members.
The eight from MIT were the most from any university, with Harvard University in second place with five. This meant that the two Cambridge universities had 13 of the 59 new US members.
Election to membership in NAS is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a US scientist or engineer. This year's election brings the total number of current active US members to 1,651.
The NAS is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a Congressional act of incorporation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, that calls upon the NAS to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.
A version of this article appeared in the May 6, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 29).