As of July 6th, APS offices are open to staff and invited visitors. The Society will remain closed to the public for at least the rest of the summer. Library & Museum staff now have access to our collections and will respond to reference and photoduplication requests as soon as possible. However, please note that response times may be delayed due to increased demand. The Society will continue a robust slate of virtual programs throughout the summer and fall. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. For further information on the APS reopening and its COVID response, please click here.

APS Member News

New Members for 2020

The American Philosophical Society is pleased to welcome new Members elected to the Society in 2020. Election to the American Philosophical Society honors extraordinary accomplishments in all fields. Read more

September

Barbara Grosz (APS 2003) will be giving a lecture for Digital Humanism entitled ."An AI and Computer Science Dilemma: Could I? Should I?"

Annette Gordon-Reed (APS 2019) will be giving the The Carl M. Buchholz Memorial Lecture entitled "The Past in the Present: Dealing with Troublesome Histories".

Richard Kagan (APS 2011) has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Autonomous University of Madrid.

Steven Weinberg (APS 1982) has been awarded the 2020 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics "For continuous leadership in fundamental physics, with broad impact across particle physics, gravity and cosmology, and for communicating science to a wider audience."

Catherine Dulac (APS 2019) has been awarded the 2021 Breakthrough Prize for Life Sciences "For deconstructing the complex behavior of parenting to the level of cell-types and their wiring, and demonstrating that the neural circuits governing both male and female-specific parenting behaviors are present in both sexes."

Kara Walker (APS 2018) has a solo exhibition, Drawings, currently on view in New York. This is a preview for an exhibition in Kunstmuseum Basel opening in June 2021.

Billie Tsien (APS 2017) will be giving the The Lois E. Toko Lecture at the University of Massachusetts.

Harold Varmus (APS 1994) wrote a piece for the New York Times about CDC guidelines during the COVID-19.


APS Member Ruth Bader Ginsburg (APS 2006) died on September 18, 2020. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights.

APS Member Seymour Schwartz (APS 2001) died on August 28, 2020. He was a founding editor of “Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery,” a seminal textbook for medical students.

August

David Rubenstein (APS 2019) gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal about philanthropy. He recently published How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson (APS 1997) gave an interview to the Philadelphia Inquirer about fact checking the 2020 election.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (APS 2006), has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center.

Gordon Baym (APS 2000) has been awarded the 2021 American Physical Society Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research. The citation reads for “major discoveries in theoretical condensed matter and many-body physics, neutron star structure and composition, quark matter and quark-gluon plasma physics, and in atomic physics and ultracold quantum gases.”

Sir Alan Fersht (APS 2008) has been awarded the prestigious Copley Medal. Sir Alan is widely regarded as one of the main pioneers of protein engineering.


APS Member Bernard Bailyn (APS 1971) died on August 7, 2020. He was a Harvard scholar whose award-winning books on early American history reshaped the study of the origins of the American Revolution.

APS Member Frances E. Allen (APS 2001) died on August 4, 2020. She was a pioneer in the world of computing, the first female IBM Fellow and the first woman to win the Turing Award.

July

Jonathan Culler (APS 2006) has been elected to the British Academy. Culler is a specialist in literary and cultural theory and French literature of the 19th century.

Howard Gardner (APS 2006) received the 2020 Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award, the premier honor from the American Educational Research Association.

Annette Gordon-Reed (APS 2019), the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard Law School and professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has been named a University Professor, Harvard’s highest faculty honor.


APS Member R. Stephen Berry (APS 2011) died on July 26, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 89. He was a theoretical and physical chemist who made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of the atomic origins of freezing, melting, crystallization, and glass formation; how electrons and photons interact with molecules; and how to make efficient use of energy and the environment.

APS Member Michael Silverstein (APS 2008) died on July 17, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 74. He was an anthropologist who made groundbreaking contributions to linguistic anthropology and helped define the field of sociolinguistics.

APS Member Gordon H. Bower (APS 2004) died on June 17, 2020, in Stanford, California, at the age of 87. He was a cognitive psychologist studying human memory, language comprehension, emotion, and behavior modification; he received a National Medal of Science in 2005 for this work.

June

Danielle Allen (APS 2015) is the recipient of the 2020 John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity from the Library of Congress. The prize "recognizes individuals whose outstanding scholarship in the humanities and social sciences has shaped public affairs and civil society" and comes with a $500,000 award.

Paul Moravec (APS 2010) spoke to Harvard Magazine about his work as a composer including his three-part series of American historical oratorios. 

Sir John Meurig Thomas (APS 1993) published a new book, Architects of Structural Biology, on the emergence of the field of molecular biology. Read his interview with ChemistryViews

Sabine Schmidtke (APS 2017) has several new publications: an article in Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies (COMSt) Bulletin 6/1 (2020), "Scribal Practices among European Scholars during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century," "For Sale to the Highest Bidder: A Precious Shiʿi Manuscript from the Early Eleventh Century," in the Shii Studies Review 4 (2020), and the volume Jewish-Muslim Intellectual History Entangled: Textual Materials from the Firkovitch Collection, Saint Petersburg

Anthony Fauci (APS 2001) appeared on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' podcast Learning Curve to discuss the state of COVID-19 vaccine development and the challenges of anti-science bias in the United States.

Jane Goodall (APS 1988) was awarded the 2020 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development.

Ruth Simmons (APS 1997) has been appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas's Houston Branch board of directors.

Corey Goodman (APS 1999) and Marc Tessier-Lavigne (APS 2017) are the winners of the 2020 Gruber Neuroscience Prize along with Friedrich Bonhoeffer.

James C. Scott (APS 2020, pictured) is the recipient of the Albert O. Hischman Prize from the Social Science Research Council, the Council's highest honor.

May

Paul Moravec (APS 2010) composed the music to a large ensemble piece, "Light Shall Lift Us," featuring over 100 opera singers in support of the opera community. The recording is available on YouTube

Robert Wuthnow (APS 2013) has published a new book, What Happens When We Practice Religion?

Robert J. Miller (APS 2014) was named the Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Warren Washington (APS 2003) is the 2020 recipient of the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Society for Classical Studies at New York University has established an annual competition for the best graduate research paper on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean named in honor of Erich S. Gruen (APS 2000).

Kerry Emmanuel (APS 2019) was elected to the Royal Society as a foreign member.

April

Fernando Pereira (APS 2019) was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Anne Case (APS 2017), Vinton Cerf (APS 2008), and Kathleen Hall Jamieson (APS 1997) have been elected members of the National Academy of Sciences. Jean Dalibard (APS 2018) and Tim Palmer (APS 2015) have been elected as international members of the NAS.

Peter Katzenstein (APS 2009) has been named the recipient of the 26th Johann Skytte Prize in Political Science. The prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize for political science, was given to Katzenstein for his work “furthering the understanding of how history, culture and norms shape economies, as well as national and global security policy.” 

Stuart Orkin (APS 2017) is winner of the 2020 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine. The Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine, established in 2014 by the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, and The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), honors physician-scientists who have moved science forward with achievements notable for innovation, creativity and potential for clinical application.

Fabiola Gianotti (APS 2019) was appointed to her second five-year term as head of CERN, which will begin in 2021.

Ruzena Bajcsy (APS 2005) is winner of the 2020 National Center for Women & Information Technology Pioneer in Tech Award. The NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award recognizes technical women whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the landscape of technological innovation.

Sonia Sotomayor (APS 2002) has been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the exemplary contributions of recipients to the endeavors in which Jefferson excelled and held in high regard.


APS Member Donald Kennedy (APS 1976) died on April 21, 2020, in Redwood City, California, at the age of 88. He was a neurobiologist, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the eighth president of Stanford University.

APS Member Jacques Blamont (APS 2002) died on April 13, 2020, in Châtillon, France at the age of 93. He was a leader in the development of vehicles and instruments for space exploration.

APS Member E. Margaret Burbidge (1980) died on April 5, 2020, in San Francisco, California at the age of 100. She was an astrophysicist who contributed to the design of instruments carried aboard the Hubble telescope and advanced understanding of the stellar origin of chemical elements. Despite facing sexism and discrimination throughout her career, she rose to become director of the Royal Observatory and recipient of the National Medal of Science.

March

Harvey Fineberg (APS 2013) has been named chair of the standing committee "Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Health Threats" requested by the White House in response to the coronavirus.  

Anthony Leggett (APS 1991) has donated his papers to the University of Illinois Archives.

Eric Horvitz (APS 2018) has been appointed Microsoft’s first ever Chief Scientific Officer.

Elaine Fuchs (APS 2005) was awarded the 2020 Canada Gairdner International Award. The Canada Gairdner International Award recognizes outstanding researchers whose unique scientific contributions have increased the understanding of human biology and disease and contributed to the relief of human suffering.

Mina Bissell (APS 2007) was awarded the 2020 Canada Gairdner International Award. The Canada Gairdner International Award recognizes outstanding researchers whose unique scientific contributions have increased the understanding of human biology and disease and contributed to the relief of human suffering.


APS Member Philip W. Anderson (APS 1991) died on March 29, 2020, in Princeton, New Jersey, at the age of 96. He was a Nobel Laureate who contributed to scientific understanding of magnetism, superconductivity, and the structure of matter.

APS Member Walter L. Robb (APS 2000) died on March 23, 2020, in Schenectady, New York, at the age of 92. He was an engineer who rose to become the director of General Electric's research and development center. He was the first APS Member to die of COVID-19.

February

Philip Kitcher (APS 2018) was awarded Rescher Medal for contributions to systematic philosophy. 

The American Meteorological Society has created the Warren Washington Research and Leadership Medal in honor of APS Member and Vice President Warren Washington (APS 2003).

Shirley Ann Jackson (APS 2007) received the 2019 Joseph A. Burton Forum Award


APS Member Freeman J. Dyson (APS 1976) died on February 28, 2020, in Princeton, New Jersey, at the age of 96. He was known for his landmark contributions to subatomic physics as well as his writing on a wide range of scientific topics.

APS Member Robert H. Dyson, Jr. (APS 1984) died on February 14, 2020, at the age of 92. He was an archaeologist who headed the excavations at the Hasanlu site in Iran from 1956-1977.

Frank H.T. Rhodes (APS 1991), who served as President of the American Philosophical Society from 1999 to 2005, died February 3, 2020, in Bonita Springs, Florida, at the age of 93. He was Cornell University’s ninth president, a national figure in higher education, and an esteemed paleontologist.

January

Kamaljit Bawa (APS 2019) accepted the 2019 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation on behalf of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, which he founded. The UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation is a biennial award “to afford recognition to outstanding contributions by individuals, groups of individuals, institutes or organizations in the management or preservation of the environment, consistent with the policies, aims and objectives of UNESCO, and in relation to the Organization's programmes in this field”.

Jennifer Higdon (APS 2019) won a Classical Grammy in the category of best contemporary classical composition for Higdon: Harp Concerto

Sandra Faber (2001) was awarded the Gold Medal in Astronomy by the Royal Astronomical Society. The Gold Medal is the Royal Astronomical Society’s highest award and was given in recognition of “her outstanding research on the formation, structure and evolution of galaxies, and for her contributions to the optical design of the Keck Telescopes and other novel astronomical instruments.”

Stuart Orkin (APS 2017) was awarded the 2020 King Faisal Prize in Medicine. He was awarded the Prize “for his outstanding contributions to the field of hemoglobinopathies which included seminal contributions of basic discoveries as well as translating them into clinical care.”

The National Science Foundation announced that its new observatory, which will begin operating in 2022, will be named the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. Rubin (1928-2016) was elected a member of the APS in 1995.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education has created an endowed professorship named in honor of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot (APS 2008). 

Kathleen Hall Jamieson (APS 1997) was named recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal. The Public Welfare Medal is the Academy’s most prestigious award and was presented to her for her “nonpartisan crusade to ensure the integrity of facts in public discourse and development of the science of scientific communication to promote public understanding of complex issues.” 

Laurie Glimcher (APS 2019) was named to Stand Up to Cancer Advisory Committee.

Nicholas Canny (APS 2007) was awarded the Cunningham Medal, the highest honor of the Royal Irish Academy.


APS Member Frank Press (APS 1973) died on January 29, 2020, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the age of 95. He was a geophysicist who served as president of the National Academy of Sciences and held several scientific advisory roles within the federal government.

APS Member Michael I. Sovern (APS 1999) died on January 20, 2020, in New York, New York, at the age of 88. He was a legal scholar and president of Columbia University.

December

Peter Dervan (APS 2002) was named to National Academy of Inventors.

Cynthia Dwork (APS 2016) was awarded the IEEE Hamming Medal. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems, and technology. Dwork was chosen for her “foundational work in privacy, cryptography, and distributed computing, and for leadership in developing differential privacy.”

Patricia Wright (APS 2013) was formally installed in the Herrnstein Family Endowed Chair in Conservation Biology at Stony Brook University. 

APS Member Gertrude Himmelfarb (APS 1986) died on December 30, 2019, in Washington, DC, at the age of 97. She was a prominent intellectual whose work ranged from scholarship of Victorian Britain to conservative commentary on modern society.

APS Member Hans Kornberg (APS 1993) died on December 16, 2019, in Falmouth, Massachusetts, at the age of 91. He was a biochemist who studied metabolic cycles in microorganisms.

APS Member Paul A. Volcker (APS 1998) died on December 8, 2019, in New York, New York, at the age of 92. He was president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, and chairman of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

APS Member Brian Tierney (APS 1990) died on November 30, 2019, in Syracuse, New York, at the age of 97. He was a medieval historian and a leading authority on medieval church law and political thought.

APS Member John B. Robbins (APS 2002) died on November 27, 2019, in New York, New York, at the age of 86. He was a pioneer in vaccinology and one of the inventors of the first effective defense against Hib meningitis.

APS Member Mary Lowe Good (APS 2000) died on November 20, 2019, in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the age of 88. She was a pioneering chemist and a leader in science and education.