Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Faculty member named AAAS fellow

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences today announced that Professor of Political Science Ronald Inglehart has been elected a fellow.

He is among 210 new fellows and 19 foreign honorary members to join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies that also serves as a center for independent policy research.

According to Inglehart’s professional Web site, his ongoing research focuses on cultural change and its consequences. Using World Values survey data from 78 countries, he has investigated linkages between the values and beliefs of mass publics and the presence or absence of democratic institutions. He has conducted extensive research on Iraqi political values using the survey data from a collaborative project between the Institute for Social Research and Eastern Michigan University.

Inglehart studies how cultural transitions in industrial societies influence individual autonomy and self-expression, politics, motivation to work, sexual and religious norms, and other central society and political orientations, the Web site states.

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, according to a news release announcing the fellows.

“Since 1780, the academy has served the public good by convening leading thinkers and doers from diverse perspectives to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing issues of the day,” says Leslie Berlowitz, chief executive officer and William T. Golden chair. “I look forward to welcoming into the academy these new members to help continue that tradition.”

“These remarkable men and women have made singular contributions to their fields, and to the world,” says Academy President Emilio Bizzi. “By electing them as members, the academy honors them and their work, and they, in turn, honor us.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 10 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Since its founding 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 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.