Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., Named American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow

Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the area of Social Sciences. The 2003 class of 187 Fellows and 29 Foreign Honorary Members includes four college presidents, three Nobel Prize winners, and four Pulitzer Prize winners.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding and influential individuals to the nation’s oldest and most illustrious learned society. Election to the American Academy is an honor that acknowledges the best of all scholarly fields and professions. Newly elected Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes those who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines, ” said Academy President Patricia Meyer Spacks. New Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected by current members of the Academy. Members are divided into five distinct classes: I) mathematics and physics; II) biological sciences; III) social sciences; IV) humanities and arts; and V) public affairs and business. The unique structure of the American Academy allows Members to conduct interdisciplinary studies that draw on the range of academic and intellectual disciplines.

The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

Other members of the 2003 class of Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members include: Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; journalist Walter Cronkite; philanthropist William H. Gates, Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; novelist Michael Cunningham; recording industry pioneer Ray Dolby; artist Cindy Sherman; and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donald Glaser among others. For a complete list of new Fellows and FHMs go