Four faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 17, 2012
By: Public Affairs

Four University of California, Berkeley, faculty members – a pioneer in photonic crystals, a prominent dark matter astrophysicist, a specialist in nanowires and an expert on molecular machines – are among 220 new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced today (Tuesday, April 17) in Washington, D.C.


headshots of Berger, Sadoulet, Yablonovitch, and Yang.
Clockwise from upper left, James Berger, Bernard Sadoulet, Eli Yablonovitch and Peidong Yang.

The new electees are Eli Yablonovitch, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Bernard Sadoulet, professor of physics;  Peidong Yang, professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering; and James M. Berger, professor of molecular and cell biology. All are faculty scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


UC Berkeley now has more than 220 current or emeritus faculty members who are also members of the academy.

Astronomer Debra Fischer, who did her post-doctoral work at UC Berkeley, is now at Yale University, and helped discover more than 200 planetary systems, also has joined the list of some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts.

In addition to a number of scientists and social scientists, the new members include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; TV journalist Judy Woodruff; American film icons Clint Eastwood and Mel Brooks; mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos; and philanthropist Melinda Gates.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Not only a prestigious honorary society, the academy is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and education.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 6 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.