Established in 1780 by founders of the nation, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current projects focus on science, technology and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education. The academy's membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research.
The new fellows from MIT are:
- Sylvester James Gates Jr., MLK Visting Professor in the Department of Physics;
- David C. Page, director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a professor of biology;
- Peter W. Shor, the Morss Professor of Applied Mathematics;
- Charles H. Stewart III, the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science
Since the academy's founding, its fellows have included George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.