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MacArthur Foundation awards 2013 ‘genius grants’

Astrophysicist Sara Seager is named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow

Astrophysicist Sara Seager is named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Edited to add Julie Livingston, whom we mistakenly omitted from our list, and to correctly describe the research of Carl Haber.

Thirteen US scientists number among the 24 MacArthur Fellows chosen this year by the philanthropic MacArthur Foundation, based in Chicago, Illinois. The designation honours creative and accomplished individuals in any field with strong potential for future achievements. Winners will receive ‘no-strings-attached’ awards—commonly called ‘genius grants’—worth US$625,000, paid over five years.

Phil Baran, an organic chemist at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, has devised new approaches for synthesizing large quantities of pharmacological compounds from natural sources in the laboratory. He recently developed a cost-effective method for making cortistatin A, a marine-derived substance with potential to treat macular degeneration and cancer.

C. Kevin Boyce, a paleobotanist at Stanford University in California, examines extinct and living plants to link ancient and present-day ecosystems. He has deduced that the evolution of flowering plants influenced the water cycle in the ancient tropics, giving rise to the rainfall patterns and rich biodiversity characteristic of modern rainforests.

Colin Camerer, a behavioural economist and game theory expert at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is using brain scans to understand how people predict the actions of others in complex economic interactions.

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, focuses on the roles of grit (determination to achieve long-term goals), and self-control (managing immediate impulses) in personal success.

Craig Fennie, a materials scientist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, uses theoretical physics and solid-state chemistry to predict desirable electrical, magnetic and optical properties in new candidate materials. His work could lead to electronic devices with enhanced memory storage or materials with improved abilities to capture solar energy.

Carl Haber, an experimental physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, has pioneered a method to extract high-quality sound from damaged or deteriorating analog recordings, such as vinyl records. The technique was used to recover the sound of Alexander Graham Bell’s voice from a recording from 1885, which was released earlier this year.

Dina Katabi, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, specializes in wireless data transmission. She has developed algorithms to reduce data loss over WiFi networks, and is working to protect personal wireless devices such as pacemakers from unwanted interference and manipulation.

Julie Livingston, a medical historian at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, explores the treatment of chronic illness in Botswana using archival information and ethnographic techniques.

David Lobell, an agricultural ecologist at Stanford University in California, studies the effects of climate change on crop production and food security. His research on maize in Africa indicates that the plant is more sensitive to extreme heat and drought than previously thought.

Susan Murphy, a statistician at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is applying statistical theories to personalized medicine. For chronic or recurring problems such as depression or substance abuse, Murphy has developed a model to evaluate how physicians should modify ongoing treatment regimens based on the patient’s current state and their response to previous treatments.

Sheila Nirenberg, a neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, New York, has designed a prosthetic device that could one day restore vision to patients suffering from macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The device bypasses the eye’s photoreceptor cells, which are damaged in these conditions, and sends electrical signals directly to retinal ganglion cells—the next stop in the visual pathway.

Ana Maria Rey, an atomic physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, is developing theories that could increase the stability of quantum computers, improve atomic clocks, and lead to new insights in quantum entanglement.

Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge who has been a member of the Kepler science team, is focused on finding and understanding planets outside of the Solar System. She has pioneered methods for studying exoplanet atmospheres, and is developing small, low-cost satellites for better observing the planets.


  1. Report this comment

    Mohammad Shafiq Khan said:

    They should review if any of the physicist has been included in the list because of following recent developments in physics. Both, Newton & Einstein had rejected aether before introducing their laws & theories. Whereas aether has been shown to be existing and containing the secrets of light & time. Once aether is accepted space is again finite & absolute and filled up with aether, the electric dipoles, and it is aether through which forces of nature are transmitted as against the irrational action at a distance through fields without knowing the physicality of the fields, time is emergent & relative depending upon motion of the observer, and as humans perceive it, time is emergent and matter is not absolute but emergent. (This alternative paradigm reveals that there is very powerful God who has power on matter & time and everything existing in the finite space and existence of God is the prerequisite for the creation & existence of universe ).
    In brief the scenario is as under
    Aristotle:- Space- absolute & finite; time- absolute, matter-absolute, light/radiation- not properly known

    Newton:- Space, time & matter same as Aristotle; light a wave-motion with corpuscular theory

    Einstein:- Space- interconnected with time & emergent, Time-emergen & interconnected with space & relative, matter & Energy (light/radiation) is absolute & transmutable and light/radiation as wave-motion with no clue as to what is light/radiation physically.

    Final state of existence:- Space-absolute & finite, time- emergent & relative depending on the motion of the observer/body with respect to aether at rest frame of reference, matter-emergent & finite, light/radiation- a electromagnetic disturbance of electric dipoles of aether creating a wave motion and all forces of nature being
    electromagnetic forces which is being transmitted through aether, the electric dipoles.

    Following is the list of my published scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals & sites where these articles are available
    1. Experimental & Theoretical Evidences of Fallacy of Space-time Concept and Actual State of Existence of the Physical Universe
    2. Foundation of Theory of Everything: Non-living Things & Living Things (Revised version on World Science Database, General Science Journal, Vixra and in my profile)
    3.Michelson-Morley Experiment: A Misconceived & Misinterpreted Experiment
    4. Energy Theory of Matter & Cosmology (Revised version on World Science Database, General Science Journal, Vixra and in
    my profile)
    5. ‘On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies’ by Albert Einstein is Based on Trickeries ( Feb.2012)
    6.Ultimate Proof of Energy Theory of Matter & Cosmology
    7. Theory of Origin & Phenomenon of Life
    These publications are available at the journal site of Indian Journal
    of Science & Technology (a peer-reviewed journal)
    (March 2012,oct 2010, oct 2011,Aug 2010) and also on,, viXra, Intellectual Archives,
    ResearchGate & in my profile.
    On the basis of above-mentioned articles an open challenge has been put forward to the adopted paradigm of physics. The standing (till date) open challenge could seen at

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