Two University of California, Berkeley, faculty members were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and a third professor was elected a foreign associate, according to an announcement today (Tuesday, April 27) from the academy.
Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States.
Members are chosen for their excellence in original scientific research and serve on panels that investigate and report to government agencies on areas of science or art. The 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 14 countries who were announced today bring total active membership in the society to just over 2,000. The new members will be inducted into the academy in April 2011 during its 148th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The new UC Berkeley members are:
- Alexis T. Bell, Dow Chair in Sustainable Chemistry in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who studies catalysts and how their molecular structure affects the efficiency of chemical reactions.
- Michael I. Jordan, Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and a professor in the Department of Statistics, who does research at the intersection of computer science and biology, including machine learning.
The newly elected foreign associate, a native of the United Kingdom, is:
- David Aldous, professor of statistics, who conducts research on mathematical probability.
With the three new electees, UC Berkeley now counts 136 NAS members and foreign associates among its faculty.
Another newly elected member of the academy, Douglas E. Koshland, son of late UC Berkeley professors Daniel E. Koshland Jr. and Marian Elliott Koshland, has accepted a position as professor of molecular and cell biology, and will be moving to the campus in July from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.
The NAS is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Established in 1863, the academy has served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.
Mina Bissell, a distinguished scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a principle investigator in the Berkeley Stem Cell Center, also was elected a member of the NAS.