#MacArthur Foundation’s 25 Newest Fellows, 2022: #Scientists, #Filmmakers, #Artists, #Sociologists, #Musicians, #Writers, #Activists and #Historians


#MacArthur Foundation’s 25 Newest Fellows, 2022:
#Scientists, #Filmmakers, #Artists, #Sociologists, #Musicians, #Writers, #Activists and #Historians

logo 2022

The 2022 MacArthur Fellows are architects of new modes of activism, artistic practice, and citizen science. They are excavators uncovering what has been overlooked, undervalued, or poorly understood. They are archivists reminding us of what should survive.

Their work extends from the molecular level to the land beneath our feet to Earth’s orbital environment—offering new ways for us to understand the communities, systems, and social forces that shape our lives around the globe.

Marlies Carruth
Director, MacArthur Fellows

“The MacArthur Fellowship is a $800,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential….Since 1981, 1061 people have been named MacArthur Fellows….

“Nominees are brought to the Program’s attention through a constantly changing pool of invited external nominators chosen from as broad a range of fields and areas of interest as possible. They are encouraged to draw on their expertise, accomplishments, and breadth of experience to nominate the most creative people they know within their field and beyond….

“The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.

“Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

“The Foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $800,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years….”

“There are three criteria for selection of Fellows:

  1. Exceptional creativity
  2. Promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments
  3. Potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.”

Meet the newest crop of very fortunate creative sorts, this year’s MacArthur Fellows, who will each receive $800,000/year spread over 5 years, to do WHATEVER THEY WANT!

MacArthur Fellows 2022
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

For bios, specific info on each Fellow, and more about the Program and the Foundation, check out their website: https://www.macfound.org/programs/fellows/

Imagine: There are no outside or public applications or nominations. The process for selection is so secretive and unknown that very few people (no one outside the Foundation, supposedly) even knows who the nominating and selection committees’ members ARE each year!

In the Foundation’s favor, this year—for the FIRST time since I’ve been tracking it, which is many years—the female-appearing Fellows are exceeding the male-appearing Fellows: 9 seeming males, 16 seeming female and 1 nonbinary fellow. The Fellows process has been great on “diversity” and varying geographic locations for quite a while. This year, only about 5 appear to be Caucasian. You can check out the stats on their site any time.

Again, LOVE this! Here are mini-bios of each Fellow for 2022:

Jennifer Carlson of Tucson, AZ, is a sociologist who studies “the motivations, assumptions, and social forces that drive gun ownership and shape gun culture in the United States.”

Paul Chan of New York, NY, is an artist, “testing the capacity of art to make human experience available for critical reflection and to effect social change.”

Yejin Choi of the University of Washington is a computer scientist who uses, “natural language processing to develop artificial intelligence systems that can understand language and make inferences about the world.”

P. Gabrielle Foreman of Pennsylvania State University is a literary historian and digital humanist who specializes in “nineteenth-century collective Black organizing efforts through initiatives such as the Colored Conventions Project.”

Danna Freedman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a synthetic inorganic chemist, “creating novel molecular materials with unique properties directly relevant to quantum information technologies.”

Martha Gonzalez of Scripps College is a musician, scholar and artist/activist “strengthening cross-border ties and advancing participatory methods of artistic knowledge production in the service of social justice.”

Sky Hopinka of Bard College is an artist and filmmaker who combines “imagery and language in films and videos that offer new strategies of representation for the expression of Indigenous worldviews.”

June Huh of Princeton University is a mathematician who studies the “underlying connections between disparate areas of mathematics and proving long-standing mathematical conjectures.”

Moriba Jah of the University of Texas, Austin, is an astrodynamicist “envisioning transparent and collaborative solutions for creating a circular space economy that improves oversight of Earth’s orbital spheres.”

Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia is an environmental engineer “investigating the scale and pathways of plastic pollution and galvanizing efforts to address plastic waste.”

Monica Kim of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is an historian who examines “the interplay between U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, processes of decolonization, and individual rights in regional settings around the globe.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer of SUNY-Syracuse is a plant ecologist, educator, and writer “articulating an alternative vision of environmental stewardship informed by traditional ecological knowledge.”

Priti Krishtel of the Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK) in Oakland, CA, is a health justice lawyer “exposing the inequities in the patent system to increase access to affordable, life-saving medications on a global scale.”

Joseph Drew Lanham of Clemson University is an ornithologist, naturalist and writer “creating a new model of conservation that combines conservation science with personal, historical, and cultural narratives of nature.”

Kiese Laymon of Rice University is a writer “bearing witness to the myriad forms of violence that mark the Black experience in formally inventive fiction and nonfiction.”

Reuben Jonathan Miller of the University of Chicago is a sociologist, criminologist and social worker who traces “the long-term consequences that incarceration and re-entry systems have on the lives of individuals and their families.”

Ikue Mori of New York, NY, is an electronic music composer and performer “transforming the use of percussion in improvisation and expanding the boundaries of machine-based music.”

Steven Prohira of the University of Kansas is a physicist “challenging conventional theories and engineering new tools to detect ultra-high energy subatomic particles that could hold clues to long-held mysteries of our universe.”

Tomeka Reid of Chicago, Ill., is a jazz cellist and composer “forging a unique jazz sound that draws from a range of musical traditions and expanding the expressive possibilities of the cello in improvised music.”

Loretta J. Ross of Smith College is a reproductive justice and human rights advocate “shaping a visionary paradigm linking social justice, human rights, and reproductive justice.”

Steven Ruggles of the University of Minnesota is an historical demographer “setting new standards in quantitative historical research by building the world’s largest publicly available database of population statistics.” 

Tavares Strachan of New York, NY, and Nassau, The Bahamas, is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist “expanding the possibilities for what art can be and illuminating overlooked contributions of marginalized figures throughout history.”

Emily Wang of Yale University School of Medicine is a primary care physician and researcher who partners with “people recently released from prison to address their needs and the ways that incarceration influences chronic health conditions.” 

Amanda Williams of Chicago, IL, is an artist and architect “reimagining public space to expose the complex ways that value, both cultural and economic, intersects with race in the built environment.” 

Melanie Matchett Wood of Harvard University is a mathematician “addressing foundational questions in number theory from the perspective of arithmetic statistics.” 

You can view ALL 1061 recipients of this “Genius Grant” (all the Fellows): https://www.macfound.org/fellows/search/all

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