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Updated 10:00 AM April 27, 2009

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Inglehart to join American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Ronald Inglehart, a U-M political scientist, has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious society that recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in scholarly and professional fields.
Ronald Inglehart was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Institute For Social Research, Center For Political Studies)

He is one of the 210 new fellows and 19 foreign honorary members, which include scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders.

"I'm thrilled to receive this honor," says Inglehart, who directs the Institute for Social Research's World Values Surveys, which has surveyed representative national samples of the publics of 97 countries containing nearly 90 percent of the world's population.

Inglehart, who joined the university as a political science instructor in 1966, conducts research on changing belief systems and their impact on social and political change.

"This is a great honor which very few social scientists have received," says James S. Jackson, director of ISR. "The World Values Surveys which Ron directs have provided scholars around the world with an invaluable source of data on changing attitudes about religion and political practices. These data have helped illuminate our understanding of the world in which we live."

Author of more than 225 publications, Inglehart's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He is a member of the editorial boards of eight scholarly journals.

He has been a visiting professor or visiting scholar in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Nigeria and New Zealand, and has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department and the European Union.

Inglehart also will receive an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels in May 2010.

The academy, established in 1780 by founders of the nation, undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its 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.

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

This year's fellows include U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and actors Dustin Hoffman and U-M alumnus James Earl Jones.

"I'm particularly honored to be a member of the same class as another U-M person — James Earl Jones," Inglehart says. "I've admired him for many years and can hardly believe that next fall I'll be on the same stage as him."

The 19 foreign honorary members include 1993 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, U2 lead singer and advocate for humanitarian causes Bono, and British actress Dame Judith Dench.

The academy will welcome this year's class Oct. 10 at its annual induction ceremony in its headquarters.

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