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Five Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Faculty members elected to one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies

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April 23, 2014 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Five members of the Northwestern University faculty have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

The five are Timothy Earle, Katherine T. Faber, Edward W. Muir, Jr., Amy C. Rosenzweig and Richard B. Silverman.

They are among the 204 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business and public affairs who have been elected to the academy this year for their pathbreaking work. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 11 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

The new Northwestern members are:

Timothy Earle, professor emeritus of anthropology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Earle is an economic anthropologist who specializes in the archaeological studies of social inequality, leadership and political economy in early chiefdoms and states. He has conducted multi-year, international field research projects in Polynesia, Peru, Argentina, Denmark and Hungary. Having studied the emergence of social complexity in three world regions, his work is comparative, searching for the causes of alternative pathways to centralized power. Earle has studied irrigation agriculture as engineered landscapes and how land tenure translates into political control. He also has investigated the role of attached specialists, who produce weapons and wealth, and prestige goods exchange.

Earle’s publications include the books “Organizing Bronze Age Societies,” “Bronze Age Economics,” “The Evolution of Human Societies” and “How Chiefs Come to Power” and articles such as “Culture matters in the Neolithic transition and emergence of hierarchy” in American Anthropologist 106 and “Ideology, materialization and power strategies” in Current Anthropology 37. 

Earle joined the Northwestern faculty in 1995, serving as chair of the department of anthropology from 1995 to 2000 and again from 2009 to 2010. He also served as president of the archaeology division of the American Anthropological Association. In 2010, a special session in his honor took place at the American Anthropological Society’s annual meeting. That same year, Earle received the Clarence L. Ver Steeg Graduate Faculty Award from The Graduate School, at Northwestern.

Katherine T. Faber, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Faber’s research interests include porous ceramics for energy applications; graphite- and silicon carbide-based cellular ceramics synthesized from natural scaffolds, such as pyrolized wood; and thermal and environmental barrier coatings for engines and gas turbines. 

Recently, Faber extended her research to include cultural heritage science. She co-founded and co-directs the Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), a new model for interdisciplinary studies that offers scientific research collaborations to museums across the country.

Faber joined the American Ceramic Society in 1975, was made fellow in 1992, served as president from 2006 to 2007 and was named a distinguished life member in 2013. Other honors include two National Science Foundation Creativity Extension Awards and a Distinguished Educator Award from the Society of Women Engineers.

Edward W. Muir, Jr., Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Muir holds a Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence and holds appointments in both the departments of history and Italian. His research interests include Italian social and cultural history. 

He has served on the board of editors of The American Historical Review and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. He is the author of “Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice,” which won the Adams and Marraro prizes given for best book in European history from ancient times and for the best book or article on Italy, respectively; “Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta in Renaissance Italy,” which also won the Marraro Prize; “Ritual in Early Modern Europe”; and “The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera.” He is the coauthor of the textbook “The West: Encounters and Transformations” and is currently writing “The Fragile Sinews of Trust: The Italian Renaissance, 1350-1650.” In 2010 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and in 2011 he was elected a member of the Academia Europaea.

Muir is a past president of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference and the Renaissance Society of America. He has received Guggenheim and National Endowment of the Humanities fellowships as well as several others. He has edited three volumes of translated essays from the prominent Italian historical journal, Quaderni Storici, is a general editor of the book series “Palgrave Early Modern History: Culture and Society” and the series editor for the “I Tatti Italian Renaissance History” monograph series with Harvard University Press. 

Amy C. Rosenzweig, Weinberg Family Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences; professor of molecular biosciences; professor of chemistry; Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Rosenzweig and her research group are focused on understanding metalloprotein function on the molecular level. They use X-ray crystallographic, spectroscopic, biochemical and genomic approaches to attack problems at the forefront of bioinorganic chemistry. Specific areas of interest include biological methane oxidation and nitrification, metal uptake and transport, and oxygen activation by metalloenzymes.

In 2007, Rosenzweig was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2003, she was named a MacArthur Fellow. She also received the American Chemical Society Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education (2006) and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Amherst College (2005).

Richard B. Silverman, John Evans Professor of Chemistry, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Much of Silverman’s research has been in the area of epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His interdisciplinary group investigates the molecular mechanisms of drug action, rational design and syntheses of medicinal agents that primarily inhibit enzymes, and the mechanisms of enzymes. In 1989, Silverman and his Northwestern research group first designed and synthesized the molecule that ultimately was marketed as Lyrica, a drug used to combat neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia and epilepsy and sold by Pfizer, Inc.

Silverman has received numerous awards for his research, including the Perkin Medal, the E.B. Hershberg Award and BMS-Smissman Award of the American Chemical Society, the Centenary Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry Prize of the Israel Chemical Society. He has been inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame of the American Chemical Society. Silverman has been recognized as an outstanding teacher by the Northwestern University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award and was named the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence.

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