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Adam Habib elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

- Wits University

Habib and Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron are the only two South Africans of the 213 new members elected to the Academy.

Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Adam Habib and Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron are the only two South Africans who were elected among the 37 Foreign Honorary Members from 17 countries, who were selected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the America’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centres, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.

Current Academy research focuses on higher education, the humanities, and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good. The Academy’s work is advanced by its elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.

The 236th (2016) class of members also includes novelist Colm Tóibín, La Opinión Publisher and CEO Monica Lozano, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, former Botswanan President Festus Mogae, and autism author and spokesperson Temple Grandin.

Other members of the 2016 class include winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; the Fields Medal; and the Grammy Award and National Book Award.

“It is an honour to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “Their election affords us an invaluable opportunity to bring their expertise and knowledge to bear on some of the most significant challenges of our day. We look forward to engaging these new members in the work of the Academy.”

“In a tradition reaching back to the earliest days of our nation, the honour of election to the American Academy is also a call to service,” said Academy President Jonathan F. Fanton. “Through our projects, publications, and events, the Academy provides members with opportunities to make common cause with one another. We invite these newly elected members to participate in this important and rewarding work—and to help produce the useful knowledge for which the Academy’s 1780 charter calls.”

Get the full list of new members of the AAAS here.