Sherwin Inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Posted: October 8, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Martin Sherwin
Martin Sherwin

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Martin Sherwin, who officially joined Mason’s Department of History and Art History and the School of Public Policy this fall, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) at a ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., on Saturday.

Sherwin is now a member of the academy’s 227th class of fellows, a distinguished group of “the finest minds and most influential leaders of the day,” according to AAAS.

Other inductees in the group of 202 new fellows and 23 new foreign honorary members are former Vice President Al Gore; former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg; Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt; New York Times investigative correspondent James Risen; filmmaker Spike Lee; acclaimed chef, activist and cookbook author Alice Waters; and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter.

New members are nominated and elected by current members of the academy.

Sherwin joined Mason after a long career at Tufts University, where he held a chaired professorship. In 2006, he won the Pulitzer Prize for “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” a book he co-authored with Kai Bird. An earlier book of his on the nuclear program was a runner-up for the Pulitzer. His work now focuses on diplomatic history. He has a PhD from UCLA.

At last year’s Fall for the Book festival, Sherwin said he spent 25 years working intermittently on the book about Oppenheimer, who became director of the Los Alamos laboratory that created the atom bomb, known as the Manhattan project. Sherwin explained that he was drawn to Oppenheimer both because of the triumph and tragedy of his life, as well as his anti-nuclear activism later in life. Sherwin began working on the book when Oppenheimer’s papers – 200 boxes of them – were made available through the Library of Congress shortly after his death.

Other Mason faculty members who are elected AAAS fellows include Nobel Prize winners Vernon Smith and James M. Buchanan; Robinson Professor of Public Affairs Hugh Heclo; and Professor of Economics and Law Gordon Tullock.

Founded in 1780, AAAS is an independent research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current research focuses on science, technology and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education. AAAS has 4,600 elected members who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world.

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