American Philosophical Society
Member History

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21Name:  Dr. David Skorton
 Institution:  Association of American Medical Colleges
 Year Elected:  2017
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  503. Administrators, Bankers and Opinion Leaders from the Public or Private Sectors
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
   
 
David J. Skorton was the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, overseeing 19 museums, the National Zoo, 21 libraries, several research centers, and numerous education units and centers. Dr. Skorton is a board-certified cardiologist and the first physician to lead the Smithsonian. Dr. Skorton is currently a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University and previously served as the president of Cornell University. He was also a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College and in Cornell's Department of Biomedical Engineering. Before that, he was president of the University of Iowa and a professor there for 26 years. In 2019 he left the Smithsonian to become president and CEO of the American Association of Medical Colleges. Dr. Skorton received his bachelor's degree in psychology and his medical degree from Northwestern University. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
 
22Name:  Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne
 Institution:  Stanford University
 Year Elected:  2017
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  208. Plant Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1959
   
 
A pioneering neuroscientist and leader in biotechnology and higher education, Marc Tessier-Lavigne became Stanford University’s 11th president on September 1, 2016. He returned to Stanford after serving for five years as president of The Rockefeller University, a leading graduate biomedical research university. Prior to his time in New York, he spent more than two decades in the Bay area. From 2001 to 2005, he served on the Stanford faculty as a professor of biological sciences and held the Susan B. Ford Professorship in the School of Humanities and Sciences. While at Stanford, he was recruited to Genentech, where he served as Executive Vice President for Research and Chief Scientific Officer, directing 1,400 scientists in disease research and drug discovery for cancer and other illnesses. Prior to Stanford, he served on the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he was recognized for distinguished teaching and ground-breaking discoveries on brain development. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including being elected a member of the National Academies of Sciences and of Medicine. President Tessier-Lavigne earned undergraduate degrees from McGill University and from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. from University College London. He performed postdoctoral work there and at Columbia University.
 
23Name:  Mr. Mark Thompson
 Institution:  Ancestry
 Year Elected:  2017
 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:  1957
   
 
Mark Thompson is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Ancestry. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company from 2012 to 2020. He was responsible for leading the Company's strategy, operations and business units, and working closely with the chairman to direct the vision of the company. Mr. Thompson was instrumental in accelerating the pace of The Times's digital transformation. Under his leadership, The Times became the first news organization in the world to pass the one million digital-only subscription mark. The company has also introduced a new era of international growth, launched an industry leading branded content studio and invested in virtual reality, producing some of the most celebrated work in this emerging medium. Before joining the Times Company, Mr. Thompson served as Director-General of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring that it remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself, driving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of new technologies and bold organizational redesign. Mr. Thompson joined the BBC in 1979 as a production trainee. He helped launch Watchdog and Breakfast Time, was an output editor on Newsnight, and was appointed editor of the Nine O'Clock News in 1988 and of Panorama in 1990. He became controller (programming and scheduling chief) for the TV network BBC2 and Director of Television for the BBC before leaving the BBC in 2002 to become CEO of Channel 4 Television Corporation in the United Kingdom. His book, "Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?" which is based on lectures he gave as a visiting professor of Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion at the University of Oxford, was published in the UK and US in September 2016. Mark Thompson was educated at Stonyhurst College and Merton College, Oxford.
 
24Name:  Ms. Billie Tsien
 Institution:  Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
 Year Elected:  2017
 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:  1949
   
 
Billie Tsien and Tod Williams formed their New York-based collaborative practice in 1986. Their studio of about 35 people is known for successfully combining theory and practice, architecture, and the fine arts. The firm’s work emphasizes the importance of place and materials. Williams and Tsien have been the architects for many notable projects including the Barnes Foundation campus in Philadelphia, the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California, the Desert House in Phoenix, Arizona, the David Rubenstein Atrium in New York City, and the Center for Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College in Vermont. The magnificent Barnes Foundation building and grounds honor the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Barnes and the core educational mission of the Foundation through a series of spaces that maintain the intimate character of the gallery while allowing for greater access to the collections and programs. In June, the Obama Foundation selected Tsien and Williams as the architects for the Obama Presidential Center, a combination library and museum to be built in Chicago. The foundation said that the two architects “stood out in their commitment to explore the best ways of creating an innovative center for action that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges.” In 2021 Billie Tsien was appointed to President Biden's Commission on Fine Arts.
 
25Name:  Dr. Michael S. Turner
 Institution:  University of Chicago
 Year Elected:  2017
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
   
 
Michael S. Turner is a theoretical astrophysicist and the Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and Senior Strategic Advisor to the Kavli Foundation. He was Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at Chicago, which he helped to establish, from 2010 to 2019 is a past-President of the American Physical Society, the 50,000 member organization of physicists. Previous positions include Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (from 1983 to 1997), assistant Director for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the National Science Foundation (2003 to 2006), Chief Scientist of Argonne National Laboratory (2006 to 2008), Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (1997 to 2003), and President (1989 to 1994) and Chairman of the Board (2009 to 2012) of the Aspen Center for Physics. Turner was born in Los Angeles, CA, and attended public schools there; he received his B.S. from Caltech (1971), his M.S. (1973) and Ph.D. (1978) from Stanford (all in physics). He holds an honorary D.Sc. (2005) from Michigan State University and was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Caltech in 2006. Turner helped to pioneer the interdisciplinary field of particle astrophysics and cosmology, and with Edward Kolb initiated the Fermilab astrophysics program which today accounts for about 10% of the lab’s activities today. He led the National Academy study Quarks to the Cosmos that laid out the strategic vision for the field. Turner’s scholarly contributions include predicting cosmic acceleration and coining the term dark energy, showing how quantum fluctuations evolved into the seed perturbations for galaxies during cosmic inflation, and several key ideas that led to the cold dark matter theory of structure formation. His honors include Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society (APS), the Klopsted Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Heineman Prize (with Kolb) of the AAS and American Institute of Physics, the 2011 Darwin Lecture of the Royal Astronomical Society and 2013 Ryerson Lecture at the University of Chicago. Turner’s twenty-plus former Ph.D. students hold faculty positions at leading universities around the country (e.g., Chicago, Caltech and University of Michigan), at national laboratories (Fermilab, JPL, and Argonne) and on Wall Street. Turner’s national service includes membership on more than 10 NRC Boards and Committees including the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP), the Senior Editorial Board of Science Magazine, Chairmanship of the OECD Global Science Forum’s Astroparticle Physics International Forum, a member of the Board of Directors of the Fermi Research Alliance, member of the NASA Advisory Council, Secretary and Chair of Class I of the National Academy of Sciences, and the founding Chair of ScienceCounts, a 501©3 organization that promotes the awareness and support of science.
 
26Name:  Mr. Tod Williams
 Institution:  Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
 Year Elected:  2017
 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:  1943
   
 
Billie Tsien and Tod Williams formed their New York-based collaborative practice in 1986. Their studio of about 35 people is known for successfully combining theory and practice, architecture, and the fine arts. The firm’s work emphasizes the importance of place and materials. Williams and Tsien have been the architects for many notable projects including the Barnes Foundation campus in Philadelphia, the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California, the Desert House in Phoenix, Arizona, the David Rubenstein Atrium in New York City, and the Center for Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College in Vermont. The magnificent Barnes Foundation building and grounds honor the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Barnes and the core educational mission of the Foundation through a series of spaces that maintain the intimate character of the gallery while allowing for greater access to the collections and programs. In June, the Obama Foundation selected Tsien and Williams as the architects for the Obama Presidential Center, a combination library and museum to be built in Chicago. The foundation said that the two architects stood out in their commitment to explore the best ways of creating an innovative center for action that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges.
 
27Name:  Dr. Jan Ziolkowski
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  2017
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402b
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1956
   
 
Jan Ziolkowski (A.B. Princeton University, Ph.D. University of Cambridge) has focused his research and teaching on the literature of the Latin Middle Ages. Within medieval literature his special interests have included such areas as the classical tradition, the grammatical and rhetorical tradition, the appropriation of folktales into Latin, and Germanic epic in Latin language. More comparatively, he has developed broad interests in medieval revivalism down to the present day. At Harvard he has chaired the Department of Comparative Literature and the Committee on Medieval Studies, in addition to (fleetingly) the Department of the Classics. He founded the Medieval Studies Seminar, which continues to hold regular meetings in the Barker Center that are open to the public. In his teaching he offers courses mainly in Classics (Medieval Latin) and in Medieval Studies. Currently he also directs Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, a Harvard center in Washington, D.C., with programs in Byzantine studies, Pre-Columbian studies, and Garden and Landscape studies. Author: The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity (2018) published in six volumes. Jan Ziolkowski was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2017.
 
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