PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Three Brown University professors have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). David Cane, Rose McDermott, and Walter Strauss are among 198 of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts in the 2013 membership class.
One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also 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.
David Cane is the Vernon K. Krieble Professor of Chemistry and professor of biochemistry. His research focuses on the chemistry, enzymology and molecular genetics of natural product biosynthesis. His work has resulted in a detailed picture of how many biologically important substances are formed in nature, from antibiotics to commonly occurring odorants found in plants and soil. Cane is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the 2013 winner of the American Chemical Society’s Alfred Bader Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to bioorganic or bioinorganic chemistry.
Rose McDermott, professor of political science, is an expert in international relations and political psychology. Her recent work has focused on the genetic bases of political preferences and behaviors. She is the author of three books, a co-editor of two additional volumes, and author of more than 90 academic articles across a wide variety of academic disciplines encompassing topics such as experimentation, identity, emotion, intelligence, decision making, and the biological and genetic bases of political behavior. McDermott has been a fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. She is president of the International Society of Political Psychology.
Walter Strauss, the L. Herbert Ballou Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, dedicates his research to the analysis of nonlinear waves, which are ubiquitous in nature. Ocean waves, solar wind, vibrational waves in materials, and laser beams are all examples of nonlinear waves that can be described by mathematical models. Strauss’s work has focused on understanding the fundamental features of these models and their relationships to physical phenomena. He has received Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships and is a fellow of both the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the American Mathematical Society.
“Election to the Academy honors individual accomplishment and calls upon members to serve the public good,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 12, 2013, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.