American Philosophical Society
Member History

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504. Scholars in the Professions (13)
[405] (2)
 Year Elected:  
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 Birth Date:  0
 Year Elected:  
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 Name:  Dr. Hans Aarsleff
 Institution:  Princeton University
 Year Elected:  1994
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  406. Linguistics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1925
Hans Aarsleff was born near Copenhagen, Denmark in 1925. He attended local schools and graduated cum laude from nearby state Gymnasium in 1943 with concentrations in math and natural science. He matriculated from the University of Copenhagen in fall 1943, having studed English and French literatures and languages with emphasis on philosophy and linguistics. He studied Old Norse, Old and Middle English, Latin, Gothic, French and Sanskrit. During 1944-45, he was trained in underground resistance to the German Occupation, on duty four weeks after May 4, 1945. In fall 1948 Aarsleff was admitted on one-year scholarship to graduate study in English at the University of Minnesota, where the most memorable courses were Robert Penn Warren's on the theory of the novel and the theory of poetry. Aarsleff studied with John W. Clark and Harold B. Allen, taught courses in linguistics and history of the language as assistant to Allen; and studied Hittite with Donald Swanson. During the summers of 1949, 1950, and 1951 he sold ice cream and hot dogs with traveling amusement parks in some states in the Midwest and the West, a very rich and instructive experience. He was an instructor in freshman English at Minnesota from 1942-56 while also working as a busboy in the University Hospitals. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1960. His dissertation on "The Study of Language in England, 1780-1860", published revised under the same title in January of 1967 (with a re-issue in 1983), features innovative introduction on contextual method in the history of scholarship and linguistics, a form of history this book, by virtue of its method, was among the first to initiate. For important information related to the method, see his essay on Koerner's historiography of linguistics in Anthropological Linguistics, March 1973. Dr. Aarsleff joined the faculty at Princeton University in 1956 as an instructor in the Department of English. He became a professor in 1972 and emeritus in 1998. At Princeton, he has taught courses in Early English literature, Chaucer, Old English, Old Norse, history of the language, and the history of linguistic thought, in addition to the entire spectrum of English and largely also American literature as preceptor in many courses. He has published on issues in intellectual history from the 16th century to the 20th, including eight entries in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography and essays on, among others, Locke, Leibniz, Descartes, Herder, Condillac, Humboldt, Taine, Saussure and Joseph Bedier. Some of these essays were later included in a book in 1982. In 1988 came his interpretive introduction to a new translation of Wilhelm von Humboldt's final and chief work on language; in 2001, the Cambridge University Press published his translation with introduction of Condillac's Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge. He has also contributed on the philosophy of language to the forthcoming Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. In 1984, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and in 1994 he was elected to the APS and to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. His chief motive has always been to try to open up fresh ways of looking at things, to question and often to undermine received opinion, and to establish his positions on the grounds of wide and solid knowledge, on well-argued interpretation, and not least, on close attention to context - thus spurning questions - begging claims about climate and opinion as a mode of understanding. For these reasons, his work has often proved controversial, even heretical. But this is a mark of our times. In his years, scholarship has become steadily more compliant, more of the donkey-follow-donkey variety, without circumspection. It is common to see stuff that in notes refers to a slew of "see also" titles that are given without page references, the "see also" category thus easily comprising 2,000 pages or more. Very often, some or all of those titles contain material which, had the author read it, would have forced radical change in the author's argument and in its foundations. He finds good if not cheerful sense in what Max Planck called a "remarkable" fact he once learned in his work, namely that "a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
 Name:  Cleveland Abbe
 Year Elected:  1871
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1838
 Death Date:  10/28/16
 Name:  Henry L. Abbot
 Year Elected:  1862
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1832
 Death Date:  10/2/27
 Name:  Charles G. Abbot
 Institution:  Smithsonian Institution
 Year Elected:  1914
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1887
 Death Date:  12/17/73
 Name:  Charles C. Abbott
 Year Elected:  1889
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Name:  Alexander C. Abbott
 Year Elected:  1897
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1860
 Death Date:  9/11/1935
 Name:  John J. Abel
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins University
 Year Elected:  1915
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1857
 Death Date:  5/26/38
 Name:  Dr. Robert Heinz Abeles
 Institution:  Brandeis University
 Year Elected:  1999
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1926
 Death Date:  June 18, 2000
 Name:  Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella
 Institution:  Supreme Court of Canada
 Year Elected:  2018
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  502. Physicians, Theologians, Lawyers, Jurists, Architects, and Members of Other Professions
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1946
Justice Rosalie Abella, born in a displaced persons’ camp to survivors of Theresienstadt and Buchenwald and brought to Canada as a young child, has been honored around the world as a leading voice for human rights among judges of the world’s high courts. Abella is an expert on human rights law and has taught at McGill Law School. She has authored several books and over 75 articles. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1972 and appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court in 2004. Her 14 years on the Canadian Supreme Court have been distinguished for the clarity and wisdom of her opinions. At an earlier phase of her career, her work on equal employment opportunity established an analytical framework that the Canadian Supreme Court and courts around the world have adopted. In the past she has been a member of the Human Rights Commission of Ontario, of the Ontario Public Service Labour Relations Tribunal, and was the first woman chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Rosalie Silberman Abella was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2018.
 Name:  Dr. Philip Hauge Abelson
 Institution:  American Association for the Advancement of Science
 Year Elected:  1961
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1913
 Death Date:  August 1, 2004
 Name:  Dr. John Abelson
 Institution:  California Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2001
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  201. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
John Norman Abelson has made major contributions to our understanding of molecular biology and biochemistry. A pioneer in recombinant DNA technology, he focused early on on mutagenic bacterial viruses and on RNA sequencing. Later he discovered intervening sequences in t-RNA and worked out the mechanisms involved in t-RNA splicing. His laboratory named and characterized the "spliceozyme" required for messenger RNA processing in yeast, and he remains a leader in characterizing the structure and function of this "molecular machine." Dr. Abelson has served the scientific community in a variety of positions. Since 1995 he has been George Beadle Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He has received many honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980-81). He earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1965.
 Name:  Rev. James Abercrombie
 Year Elected:  1796
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1758
 Death Date:  6/26/1841
 Name:  J.J. Abert
 Year Elected:  1832
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1788
 Death Date:  6/27/1863
 Name:  Joseph N.B.V. Abrahamson
 Year Elected:  1829
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Name:  The Honorable Shirley S. Abrahamson
 Institution:  Supreme Court of the State of Wisconsin
 Year Elected:  1998
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  502. Physicians, Theologians, Lawyers, Jurists, Architects, and Members of Other Professions
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1933
 Death Date:  December 19, 2020
Shirley S. Abrahamson was the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She was initially appointed to that body by Governor Patrick Lucey in 1976 and was subsequently elected in 1979, 1989 and 1999. She became the Chief Justice on August 1, 1996 and is the first woman to serve as either Justice or as Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Born and raised in New York City, Chief Justice Abrahamson received a bachelor's degree from New York University in 1953, a law degree from Indiana University Law School in 1956 and a doctor of law in American legal history in 1962 from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is the recipient of 15 honorary doctor of laws degrees and the Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining the court, Chief Justice Abrahamson practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin and taught at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is the past president of the National Conference of Chief Justices and past chair of the board of directors of the National Center for State Courts. She also served as chair of the National Institute of Justice's National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. She was a member of the Council of the American Law Institute and the board of directors of New York University School of Law Institute of Judicial Administration. She died on December 19, 2020.
 Name:  Dr. Meyer Howard Abrams
 Institution:  Cornell University
 Year Elected:  1973
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402. Criticism: Arts and Letters
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1912
 Death Date:  April 21, 2015
Among America's most highly respected literary scholars, Meyer Howard (Mike) Abrams was best known for his analysis of the Romantic period in English literature. Born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1912, Dr. Abrams received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1940. He joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1945, becoming a full professor in 1953, Whiton Professor of English in 1960 and professor emeritus in 1983. His two greatest books, The Mirror and the Lamp and Natural Supernaturalism, are recognized as outstanding achievements. The former book ranked 25th in the Modern Library's list of the 100 best nonfiction books written in English during the past 100 years, and for the latter Dr. Abrams was awarded the James Russell Lowell Prize by the Modern Language Association. In 1962, he conceived and edited The Norton Anthology of English Literature, and he continued as general editor through its seventh edition. Dr. Abrams was the recipient of the Award in Humanistic Studies from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Society and the Award for Literature by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His book The Fourth Dimension of a Poem and Other Essays (2012) was released slightly before his 100th birthday. In 2014 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. Dr. Abrams died April 21, 2015, at age 102, in Ithaca, New York.
 Name:  Ms. Jill Abramson
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  2012
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  502. Physicians, Theologians, Lawyers, Jurists, Architects, and Members of Other Professions
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1954
Jill Abramson has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at Harvard University since 2014. She was the executive editor of The New York Times from September 2011 to May 2014. Previously she was managing editor of the paper from August 2003 until August 2011. As managing editor, Ms. Abramson helped supervise coverage of two wars, four national elections, hurricanes and oil spills. She also wrote about politics, in the Week in Review and Book Review sections. She served as Washington bureau chief from December 2000 until July 2003. She joined the newspaper in September 1997 and became Washington editor in 1999. Previously, Ms. Abramson worked at The Wall Street Journal from 1988 to 1997. While there, she served as deputy bureau chief in its Washington, D.C., bureau and investigative reporter, covering money and politics. Ms. Abramson is the author of Merchants of Truth, published in 2019. She is also the co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, published in 1994, and Where They Are Now: The Story of the Women of Harvard Law 1974, published in 1986. Strange Justice, a non-fiction finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994, details the circumstances surrounding the confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas. Where They Are Now is a study of the 71 women in the Harvard Law School class of 1974. Ms. Abramson won the National Press Club award for national correspondence in 1992 for political coverage of money and 2018 she was appointed Adjunct Professor at Dublin City University's School of Communications. Ms. Abramson is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She serves on the Journalism Advisory Board of ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. She also serves on the board of visitors of Columbia University's School of Journalism. She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2012.
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