American Academy of Arts and Sciences elects three U-M faculty as members

April 18, 2018
Contact: Jared Wadley

ANN ARBOR—Three University of Michigan faculty members have been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for their significant contributions in scholarly and professional fields.

Among the 213 fellows and 36 foreign honorary members identified as “exceptional scholars, leaders, artists, and innovators” are:

  • Roger Cone, the Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute, vice provost and director of the Biosciences Initiative, and the Asa Gray Collegiate Professor of the Life Sciences
  • Christian Davenport, professor of political science and faculty associate at the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research
  • Stephen Forrest, the Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor of Engineering and professor of physics; materials science and engineering; and electrical engineering and computer science

The 2018 class includes President Barack Obama, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, actor Tom Hanks and Netflix CEO W. Reed Hastings Jr.

“Membership in the academy is not only an honor, but also an opportunity and a responsibility,” said Jonathan Fanton, president of the American Academy. “Members can be inspired and engaged by connecting with one another and through academy projects dedicated to the common good. The intellect, creativity, and commitment of the 2018 class will enrich the work of the academy and the world in which we live.”

Roger Cone.Roger Cone.Cone and his lab associates seek to understand how the central nervous system regulates energy storage and the role of these neural circuits in obesity, disease cachexia and anorexia nervosa. Mutations in the key receptor in the system he elucidated are the most common cause of human syndromic obesity.

He has been recognized for a number of awards and distinctions, including election to the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine and as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“This is a great honor, and a reminder of a responsibility to pursue my field of research and scholarship,” said Cone, who is a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the Medical School.


Christian Davenport.Christian Davenport.

Davenport co-directs the Conflict Consortium at the Center for Political Studies and is a research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. His primary research interests include the conception, causes and after effects of political conflict (such as human rights violations, genocide/politicide, torture, political surveillance, civil war and social movements), measurement, racism and popular culture.

Davenport, who has written six books and many articles, is the recipient of numerous grants (including 10 from the National Science Foundation) and awards (such as the Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar Award and a Residential Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University).

“This is outstanding,” he said. “I have been an observer, consumer and fan of AAAS for years. This is truly an honor and something I will hopefully be able to live up to.”

Stephen Forrest. Image credit: Michigan PhotographyStephen Forrest. Image credit: Michigan PhotographyForrest is formerly the U-M vice president for research. He directs the Optoelectronic Components and Materials Laboratory, a collection of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists and research staff engaged in investigating an enormous variety of phenomena and devices related to electronic materials and optics. Their work is on the optical properties of semiconductor materials for photonic devices, displays, lighting and solar cell applications.

Forrest has won numerous awards, authored more than 550 papers in refereed journals and has 267 patents. He is co-founder or founding participant in several companies, including Sensors Unlimited and Universal Display Corp.

“This is quite an unexpected honor. But I have always surrounded myself with wonderful students and colleagues. They definitely deserve recognition for their many contributions to my success,” said Forrest, who is also the Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering and William Gould Dow Collegiate Professor in Electrical Engineering.

Founded in 1780, AAAS is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.
The new class will be inducted in October in Cambridge, Mass.

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