Six New African-American Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 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, 212 new fellows were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As in past years, the academy has not disclosed the racial makeup of the new members. But through an analysis of the new members list, JBHE has been able to determine that at least six of the 212 new members are black. Thus, blacks are less than three percent of the new members.

Here are brief profiles of the newly elected African-American fellows:

Wanda M. Austin is president and CEO of Aerospace Corporation in Los Angeles.  The company has nearly 4,000 employees and annual revenues of $850 million. Austin is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in systems engineering from the University of Southern California.

James I. Cash is James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard Business School. He joined the business school faculty in 1976.

Professor Cash is a graduate of Texas Christian University. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in management information systems from Purdue University.

Sylvester James Gates is John Toll Professor of Physics and director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland, College Park. He serves on the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Professor Gates holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor at Harvard Law School and a professor of history at Harvard University. She is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

She is the recipient of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in history, and the National Humanities Medal. Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

Ray A. Hammond is founder and pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

Hammond is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. After completing his surgical residency, he worked in the emergency room at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Massachusetts. In 1976 he changed careers and later earned a master’s degree in religion at Harvard.

Talmadge E. King Jr. is Julius R. Krevans Distinguished Professor in Internal Medicine and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. Previously he taught at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

Dr. King is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and the Harvard Medical School.