American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1Name:  Dr. Eshel Ben-Jacob
 Institution:  Tel Aviv University; Rice University
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1952
 Death Date:  June 5, 2015
   
 
Eshel Ben-Jacob was a professor of Physics and Astronomy, Maguy-Glass Prof. in Physics of Complex Systems and Member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He was also an Adjunct Prof. of Biosciences and Senior Investigator at the Center of Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) at Rice University. Prof. Ben-Jacob finished his PhD in Physics (1982) at Tel Aviv University, during which he investigated the nonlinear dynamics and noise effects in networks of superconductors. He spent three years (1981-1984) as a post doctoral fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP; today KITP) at the University of California Santa Barbara and made his first groundbreaking work during that time. He and his collaborators solved the long standing "snowflake" problem, formulated by Kepler back in 1610, and lay the foundations of self-organization and pattern formation in open systems far from equilibrium - a field he pioneered and in which he made several breakthroughs (e.g., comprehending the singular interplay between the micro and macro level dynamics, formulating new self-consistent selection principles, founding a new theory of morphology selection). At the same time, Ben-Jacob suggested and showed, theoretically and experimentally, that Coulomb effect can be utilized to control single electron quantum tunneling in sub-micron systems. This led him to the invention (1988) of a transistor operating by single electron tunneling. He was awarded the Landau Prize for research in 1986. Ben-Jacob continued to study quantum effects in small systems, predicting (in the 90s) that flux solitons can behave as quantum relativistic particles. Enthralled by the even greater challenge posed by self-organization in living systems, Ben-Jacob embarked on a new direction of applying physics principles and investigation methods to biology. His first and ongoing effort was bacterial colony development, believing that the foundations of cognition are rooted in these most fundamental life forms - in their abilities to assess the environment, process the information they sense, and adapt accordingly. Among his achievements in the last two decades in physical microbiology were revealing the principles of self organization in bacterial colonies and of collective decision making by social bacteria. While continuing to work on bacteria, Ben-Jacob turned to apply what he learned there to studies of neural network organization and task performance. Here, his most noticeable accomplishment was the first imprinting of multiple memories in live neuronal networks outside the brain utilizing his new "functional holography" analysis of the network activity. Being recognized as a revolutionary step in Networks Neuroscience, this endeavor was selected by Scientific American as one of the 50 most important achievements in all fields of science and technology in 2007. Ben-Jacob then utilized the "functional holography" method for analyzing recorded human brain activity with application to epilepsy. He applied his methods in clinical studies of brain repair from stroke and traumatic brain injuries by hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Ben-Jacob's last endeavor was applying what he learned from the microbial world in cancer research. Here he promoted the idea that cancer cells, like bacteria, use advanced communication and cooperation through which they migrate, colonize new organs, develop drug resistance, deceive the immune system and enslave stromal cells. In line of this paradigm, he worked on revealing the operational principles underlying these lethal traits and developing a new theoretical framework to studying new classes of therapeutic strategies intended to defeat cancer by means of "cyberwar", i.e. targeting its communication, cooperation and control. Prof. Ben-Jacob served as vice president (1998-2001) and President (2001-2004) of the Israel Physical Society. He was granted the award of Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella della solidarietà Italiana for promotion of science and science culture (2008). He was awarded the Weizmann prize in Physical Sciences in 2013 for "innovative application of physical methods to the study of biological communities such as bacteria colonies, neural networks, and tumors" and inducted an International member of the American Philosophical Society in mathematical and physical sciences in 2014. He died on June 5, 2015, in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the age of 63.
 
2Name:  Mr. Rem Koolhaas
 Institution:  OMA; Harvard University
 Year Elected:  2014
 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:  1944
   
3Name:  Dr. Ron Lesthaeghe
 Institution:  Vrije Universiteit, Brussels
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  3. Social Sciences
 Subdivision:  301. Anthropology, Demography, Psychology, and Sociology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1945
   
 
Ron J. Lesthaeghe (born 1945) earned his license degree (1967) and his PhD (1970) in the Social Sciences at the University of Ghent, and obtained his MA in Sociology (1968) from Brown University. He has been a research associate at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University (1971-73), and worked for the Population Council as regional representative for West and Central Africa (1975-76). Since 1971 he has been lecturer and then professor of Demography and Social Science Methodology at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). From 1988 to 1991 he was Dean of the faculty of economics, sociology and political science at that university. Emeritus at the VUB since 2005. He has been awarded visiting professorships at the Institut des Sciences Politiques de Paris (Colson Chair, 1989-93), the Université Catholique de Louvain (Leclercq Chair, 1996-97), at the University of Antwerp (Belgian Franqui Chair, 1999-2000), and at Harvard University (Erasmus Chair, 2001-02). He is a member of both the Belgian and the Dutch Academies of Science. Served on the Fachbeirat of the Max Planck Institut für Demografie in Rostock, Germany (1999-2004). In 2003 he received the Irene Taueber Award of the Population Association of America (PAA) and the Office of Population Research of Princeton University. Ranked 10th among the most influential demographers in the period 1950-2000 by 637 colleagues responding in CICRED demographers survey (Chasteland et al., 2004). Recipient in 2005 of the quinquenial Ernest-John Solvay Prize of the FWO (highest Belgian Natl. Science Foundation award in the social sciences and humanities). Received the 2008 Life Time Award from the International Union of the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP). Visiting Professor at the Departments of Sociology/Population Studies Centers of the Universities of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and of California (Irvine). Since 2010, Ron has been a regular visitor at the Centre d'Estudis Demografics (CED) at the Autonoma university in Barcelona, where he has been collaborating on the project concerning the rise of unmarried cohabitation in the Americas. In 2014, he was elected as foreign member of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and of the US National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. (Class 53 - Social & Political Sciences). Most of his research has been in the various sub-fields of demography: historical, social and economic, and mainly covering populations of Europe and of sub-Saharan Africa. He has also done research in the fields of cultural change in Europe and of ethnic minorities studies. His published work includes books on "The decline of Belgian Fertility" (1977, Princeton Univ. Press), "Child-spacing in Tropical Africa" (1981, Academic Press), "Production and Reproduction in Sub-Sahara Africa" (1989, University of California Press), "Communities and Generations - Turkish and Moroccan Populations in Belgium" (2000,VUB-Press). He edited "Meaning and Choice: Values Orientations and Life Course Decisions" which brings together the results of longitudinal surveys conducted in the US and Western Europe (2002, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The Hague). He is also editor and co-author of a number of books in Dutch such as: "Demografische Alternatieven voor België" (De Sikkel, 1979), "Diversiteit in Sociale Verandering - Turkse en Marokkaanse Vrouwen in België", (1997, VUB-Press), and "Eerst Optellen, dan Delen - Demografie, Economie en Sociale Zekerheid" (Garant, 1998).
 
4Name:  Dr. Moshe Sharon
 Institution:  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1937
   
 
Moshe Sharon, M.A., PhD was born in Haifa Israel on December 18, 1937 and received his higher education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the SOAS University of London. He is a professor (Emeritus) of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, and Chair in Bahá’í Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in which he initiated the scholarly independent study of the Bahá’í Faith (in a non Bahá’í context, and within the wider study of modern religions and religious movements). Asked in 1984 to develop Jewish Studies at the University of the Witwaterstrand Johannesburg, South Africa, he established the Chair and Centre of Jewish Studies there and headed and directed it until 1993. Since 1968 Professor Sharon has been documenting and studying in depth the Arabic Inscriptions of the Holy Land and publishing them in multi-volume opus: Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae (CIAP, six books) concurrent with his many scholarly publications on Islamic history and civilization. Among these are Black Banners from the East in 2 volumes, by now classic on the earliest revolutionary movement in Islam; Judaism Christianity and Islam, Interaction and Conflict; Judaism in the Context of Diverse Civilizations; Studies in Modern Religions and Religious Movements (ed.); The Bahá’í Religion and its Most Holy Book and many more. Professor Sharon is one of foremost authorities on early ‘Abbasid history, History of the Holy Land under Islam, and a world expert on Arabic Epigraphy. In the field of public activity he served as Prime Minister Begin Advisor on Arab Affairs (1978-1980) and participated in the initial stages of the Israeli-Egyptian peace process. Later he was the Head of the Department of Arab Affairs in the IDF Central Command, advisor to the Minister of Defense, and special envoy to the Shi‘ites in Lebanon. More than a year ago he was appointed by a unanimous decision of the Government of Israel as Chairman of the Place-Name Committee responsible for the official fixing of all place names on the map of the country.
 
5Name:  Dr. Nicholas Sims-Williams
 Institution:  University of London
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
   
 
Nicholas Sims-Williams is Research Professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, whose faculty he joined in 1976. Nicholas Sims-Williams is an Iranologist, a philologist and linguist who has brought the little-known world of Iranian Central Asia to vivid life by his studies of religious texts, especially concerning Manichaeism and Buddhism, and everyday documents in a host of languages, above all Sogdian and Bactrian. The latter was practically lost to memory when Sims-Williams deciphered a trove of ancient legal documents and letters found in Afghanistan and identified their language as Bactrian, reconstructing its grammar and vocabulary and recovering six hundred years of a lost culture - "the most exciting discovery in Iranian Studies in the last two decades," as it was called in the introduction to his 2009 Festschrift. He was awarded the Prix Ghirshman of the Institut de France and the Hirayama Prize from the Institute of Silk Road Studies. Sims-Williams is the author of The Christian Sogdian Manuscript C2, 1985; Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan, Vol. I: Legal and Economic Documents, 2001; Recent Discoveries in the Bactrian Language and Their Historical Significance, 2004; (with F. de Blois) Dictionary of Manichaean Texts, Vol. II, Texts from Iraq and Iran, 2006; Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan, Vol. 2: Letters and Buddhist Texts, 2007. He is a member of the British Academy and the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Institut de France. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2014.
 
Election Year
2014[X]