Women Are Less Than a Quarter of All New Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Women have made tremendous progress in American higher education. Yet in many areas a wide gender gap remains. Election to the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies is just one example.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) is one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. It has a membership of more than 4,000 scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines including all the natural sciences. Its membership includes at least 200 Nobel Prize winners and more than 50 winners of a Pulitzer Prize. This year, 220 new fellows were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Through an analysis of the list of new fellows conducted by WIAReport, it appears that 53 of the 220 new members of the AAAS are women. Thus, women make up only 24.1 percent of the new members of the academy. This is up from 18.4 percent of the new members a year ago.

New women members include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Melinda Gates, and Judy Woodruff. In addition, 40 of the 52 new women members have ties to academia.

(L to R) Top row: Eva Andrei, Ann Margaret Arvin, Angela M. Belcher, Bonnie Berger, Marianne Bertrand, Joan Sylvia Lyttle Birman, Meredith May Blackwell, Elizabeth Hill Boone, Carolina A. Bruzelius, and Katharine Venable Cashman. Second row: Lizabeth Cohen, Colin Dayan, Shari Seidman Diamond, Alice Hendrickson Eagly, Sarah Carlisle Roberts Elgin, Laura Engelstein, Martha Feldman, Susan Ferro-Novick, Amy Finkelstein, and Debra Ann Fischer. Third row: Elisabeth R. Gerber, Midori Goto, Carol Greenhouse, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Ana Magdalena Hurtado, Mitzi Irene Kuroda, Jennifer A. Lewis, Carolyn A. Martin, Diane J. Mathis, and Kathleen McCartney. Fourth row: Margaret J. McFall-Ngai, Elizabeth A. Phelps, Jean Porter, Vicki L. Ruiz, Maureen L. Stanton, Eleonore Stump, Augusta Read Thomas, Gina G. Turrigiano, Veronica Vaida, and Kara Walker.

Eva Andrei is a professor of physics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Ann Margaret Arvin is vice Provost and dean of research and the Lucile Salter Packard Professor of Pediatrics and professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University.

Angela M. Belcher is the Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bonnie Berger is a professor of applied mathematics and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Marianne Bertrand is the Chris P. Dialynas Professor of Economics and the Richard N. Rosett Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Joan Sylvia Lyttle Birman is Research Professor and professor emerita of mathematics at Barnard College.

Meredith May Blackwell is the Boyd Professor of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Elizabeth Hill Boone holds the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Carolina A. Bruzelius is the Anne Cogan Professor of Art History at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Katharine Venable Cashman is the Philip H. Knight Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon.

Lizabeth Cohen is the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Colin Dayan is the Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University.

Shari Seidman Diamond is the Howard J. Trienens Professor of Law and professor of psychology at Northwestern University.

Alice Hendrickson Eagly holds the James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.

Sarah Carlisle Roberts Elgin is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and the Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Laura Engelstein is the Henry S. McNeil Professor of Russian History at Yale University.

Martha Feldman is the Mabel Greene Myers Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

Susan Ferro-Novick is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Amy Finkelstein is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Debra Ann Fischer is a professor of astronomy at Yale University.

Elisabeth R. Gerber is professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Midori Goto holds the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the University of Southern California.

Carol Greenhouse is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University.

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer is the Eberly Professor of Biotechnology and professor of chemistry at Pennsylvania State University.

Ana Magdalena Hurtado is a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.

Mitzi Irene Kuroda is professor of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Jennifer A. Lewis is the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the F. Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Carolyn A. Martin is president of Amherst College in Massachusetts.

Diane J. Mathis is professor of microbiology and immunology at Harvard Medical School.

Kathleen McCartney is dean of the faculty of education and the Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Margaret J. McFall-Ngai is a professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Elizabeth A. Phelps is a professor of psychology at New York University.

Jean Porter is the Reverend John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Vicki L. Ruiz is the dean of the School of Humanities and professor of history and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

Maureen L. Stanton is a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis.

Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University.

Augusta Read Thomas is the University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago.

Gina G. Turrigiano is a professor of biology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Veronica Vaida is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kara Walker is professor of visual arts at Columbia University in New York City.

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