2015 #MacArthur Fellows: 24 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All

Let’s celebrate extraordinary and amazing and beneficial and FUN people! I first heard about these annual awards when they were only about $200,000 and they were called “Genius Grants.”

The cool thing about this award is that the group of people who nominate and select these individuals every year are ANONYMOUS and it is apparently impossible to discover their identities. This protects the process from corruption, one would hope.

I’ve heard that the recipient gets a phone call “out of the blue,” since they don’t even know they’re being considered, to announce that they are selected and about to receive one of our highest honors and a huge cash award.

The idea behind these awards is that the Fellows can then “quit their day jobs” or work less for money while living on the investments/cash they get/accumulate from this award. That liberates them to pursue their genius ideas even further! YEAH!

I also love that they make a concerted effort and usually succeed in finding obscure, diverse, interesting and helpful people to whom to give this important award each year. Check out the 2015 cohort!

Spread the word! Read about these people and their projects to youth and adults to inspire us all to be better! There is no upper age limit on recipients, either!

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2015 MacArthur Fellows: 24 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All

Recognizing 24 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future, the Foundation today named the 2015 MacArthur Fellows. Fellows will each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000, allowing recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions.

“These 24 delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all.”



#Nobel Prize Winners 2014: Why we should pay attention and be grateful

#Nobel Prize Winners 2014: Why we should pay attention and be grateful
Thanks to these scientists, researchers, activists and one writer, we can now enjoy advances and new inventions very soon in a variety of areas. This year, two women (one quite young) and several men (big surprise, there) were honored by these esteemed prizes. Check out their accomplishments!

  • Literature, Patrick Modiano: “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”
    Wikipedia tells us: “Patrick Modiano …previously won the 2012 Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the 2010 Prix mondial Cino Del Duca from the Institut de France for lifetime achievement, the 1978 Prix Goncourt for Rue des boutiques obscures, and the 1972 Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française for Les Boulevards de ceinture. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have been celebrated in and around France, though only a few have been in circulation in English by the time he was awarded the Nobel Prize.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Modiano

    Anybody read any of his books? Not I (yet).


  • Physiology or Medicine, Edvard Moser, May Britt Moser, John O’Keefe: “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.” Their combined research reveals the ways the brain understands its location even when underwater, upside down, without gravity and without visual cues.

    Edvard Moser, May Britt Moser, John O'Keefe

    for ground-breaking research on “The Brain’s GPS: how the brain knows where it is.”

  • Physics, Shuji Nakamura, Hiroshi Amano, Isamu Akasaki: “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.” We will soon have inexpensive, “green” light sources widely available, thanks to these scientists/inventors.

    Light source

    for inventing/discovering “a new, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly light source” image from http://www.theguardian.com/science/live/2014/oct/07/nobel-prize-physics-2014-stockholm-live

  • Peace, Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) and Kailash Satyarthi (India): “for their struggles against the suppression of children and for young people’s rights, including the right to education”

    Malala Yousafzai

    Malala Yousafzai is the young woman who was almost fatally shot while trying to get to school in Pakistan. During and after her recovery, she has become a vocal and well-respected advocate for girls’ rights to be educated in countries that oppress women and girls. She is also the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Kailash Satyarthi

    Kailash Satyarthi is a globally recognized hero for rescuing children from forced labor, sexual exploitation and slavery and working to prevent these from occurring image from http://www.myhero.ws

  • Chemistry, W.E. Moerner, Stefan Hell, Eric Betzig: “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy” which “brings optical microscopy into the nanodimension.” We can now SEE the extremely tiny stuff even better than ever. Wow!

    super-resolved fluorescence microscopy

    “A network of filaments in a mammalian cell revealed by fluorescence microscopy. Photograph: Stefan W Hell/Division of Optical Nanoscopy/German Cancer Research Center” image from http://www.theguardian.com

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