Jack E. Dixon, HHMI vice president and chief scientific officer, and HHMI scientific review board member Gregory A. Petsko of Brandeis University have been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.
An eminent scholarly organization, the American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin to promote useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities. It carries out that mandate by supporting excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. The Society has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for more than 250 years.
The American Philosophical Society’s current activities reflect the founder’s spirit of inquiry, provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and convey the conviction of its members that intellectual inquiry and critical thought are inherently in the public interest.
Early members of the Society included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, and John Marshall. In the nineteenth century, John James Audubon, Robert Fulton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, and Louis Pasteur were among those elected. Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, and George Marshall hint at the scientific, humanistic, and public accomplishments of twentieth-century members.
Today the Society has 1001 elected members, 833 resident members and 168 international members from more than two dozen foreign countries.