Provost Kent Fuchs; Harry Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; and alumnus Chuck Feeney ’56, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts and education. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Don Randel, chair of the academy’s Board of Directors and former Cornell provost. “The knowledge and expertise of our members give the academy a unique capacity – and responsibility – to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.”
Prior to his appointment as provost, Fuchs was the Joseph Silbert Dean of the College of Engineering (2002-08). His research interests include dependable computing and failure diagnosis of integrated circuits.
He is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary Society and Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honorary Society and a fellow of the IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Awards he has received include the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Greene, a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow and the recipient of the E.O. Wilson Award from the American Society of Naturalists, is one of the world’s leading snake experts. He is faculty curator of reptiles in the Cornell Museum of Vertebrates (a collection of 35,000 specimens). More than 40 years of snake hunting have taken him to 18 countries on six continents. He has slogged through snake-infested jungles, forests, deserts, rain forests, swamps and savannas; squeezed out prey from the guts of slithering serpents to see what they eat; and implanted tiny radio transmitters to track where they go.
His award-winning book "Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature" is a tribute to the beauty and mystique of the reptiles. He is also the author of “Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art,” an autobiographical introduction to and celebration of field biology.
Feeney, a prominent Cornell alumnus and well-known philanthropist, is founding chairman of Atlantic Philanthropies. Between 1982 and 2011, Feeney's gifts and commitments through Atlantic to Cornell, which he originally made anonymously, totaled approximately $600 million. His philanthropic efforts became known after his authorized biography was published in 2007.
In December 2011, it was announced that Feeney and Atlantic Philanthropies gave $350 million in support of Cornell’s tech campus in New York City, which provided crucial financial support for the university’s initial bid for the project.