Three faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


University of Michigan faculty members have been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for their significant contributions in scholarly and professional fields.

Among the 213 fellows and 36 foreign honorary members identified as “exceptional scholars, leaders, artists, and innovators” are:

Roger Cone

Christian Davenport

Stephen Forrest

• Roger Cone, research professor and Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute; vice provost and director of the Biosciences Initiative; Asa Gray Collegiate Professor of the Life Sciences; professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, LSA; and of molecular and integrative physiology, Medical School.

• Christian Davenport, professor of political science, LSA; and faculty associate at the Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research.

• Stephen Forrest, Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor of Engineering, Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering, William Gould Dow Collegiate Professor in Electrical Engineering, professor of materials science and engineering, and of electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering; and professor of physics, LSA.

The 2018 class includes President Barack Obama, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, actor Tom Hanks and Netflix CEO W. Reed Hastings Jr.

“Membership in the academy is not only an honor, but also an opportunity and a responsibility,” said Jonathan Fanton, president of the American Academy. “Members can be inspired and engaged by connecting with one another and through academy projects dedicated to the common good. The intellect, creativity, and commitment of the 2018 class will enrich the work of the academy and the world in which we live.”

Cone and his lab associates seek to understand how the central nervous system regulates energy storage and the role of these neural circuits in obesity, disease cachexia and anorexia nervosa. Mutations in the key receptor in the system he elucidated are the most common cause of human syndromic obesity.

He has been recognized for a number of awards and distinctions, including election to the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine and as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“This is a great honor, and a reminder of a responsibility to pursue my field of research and scholarship,” said Cone.

Davenport co-directs the Conflict Consortium at the Center for Political Studies and is a research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. His primary research interests include the conception, causes and after effects of political conflict — such as human rights violations, genocide/politicide, torture, political surveillance, civil war and social movements — measurement, racism and popular culture.

Davenport, who has written six books and many articles, is the recipient of numerous grants, including 10 from the National Science Foundation, and awards, such as the Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar Award and a Residential Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

“This is outstanding,” he said. “I have been an observer, consumer and fan of AAAS for years. This is truly an honor and something I will hopefully be able to live up to.”

Forrest is formerly the U-M vice president for research. He directs the Optoelectronic Components and Materials Laboratory, a collection of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists and research staff engaged in investigating an enormous variety of phenomena and devices related to electronic materials and optics. Their work is on the optical properties of semiconductor materials for photonic devices, displays, lighting and solar cell applications.

Forrest has won numerous awards, authored more than 550 papers in refereed journals and has 267 patents. He is co-founder or founding participant in several companies, including Sensors Unlimited and Universal Display Corp.

“This is quite an unexpected honor. But I have always surrounded myself with wonderful students and colleagues. They definitely deserve recognition for their many contributions to my success,” said Forrest.

Founded in 1780, AAAS is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.

The new class will be inducted in October in Cambridge, Mass.


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