Two Caltech professors—Jonas Peters and Dianne Newman—have been elected as fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest honorary societies. They are members of the academy's 241st class, which includes 252 scholars from fields that include paleontology, economics, civil-rights activism, and cinematography, among others.
Peters is the Bren Professor of Chemistry in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute. His research is focused on the development of catalysts and photocatalysts with applications in renewable solar fuel technologies, distributed nitrogen fixation for fertilizers and fuels, and new bond constructions for organic chemists developing pharmaceuticals. As director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, Jonas is leveraging Caltech's unique strengths to innovate solutions for a more sustainable planet.
Newman is the Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering and executive officer for biology and biological engineering. Her research focuses on the strategies bacteria take to cope with stress, such as the challenge of surviving in the absence of oxygen. Her current work includes examining the consequences of these metabolic responses in habitats ranging from the soil to chronic infections.
Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and others, the academy aims to serve the nation by cultivating "every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." The academy has elected as fellows and foreign honorary members "leading thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Ben Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Duke Ellington and Albert Einstein in the 20th.
A full list of new members is available on the academy website at www.amacad.org/members.