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Three IU Bloomington professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Three IU alumni also to join academy, one of the most prestigious honorary societies

For Immediate Release Apr 17, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Three Indiana University Bloomington faculty members – Jerome R. Busemeyer, Sumit Kumar Ganguly and Andre Watts – have been elected as fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Busemeyer is a Provost Professor of psychological and brain sciences in the IU College of Arts and Sciences. Ganguly is a professor of political science, the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations and director of the Center on American and Global Security in the School of Global and International Studies. Watts is the Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair and a Distinguished Professor in the IU Jacobs School of Music.

“Outstanding scholars, researchers and educators are the essential element of every world-class university, and professors Busemeyer, Ganguly and Watts are without question among the most distinguished and accomplished members of the Indiana University faculty,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “All have received international acclaim for their work, and their election as fellows of the highly respected American Academy of Arts and Sciences is extremely well deserved.”

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences convenes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to address critical challenges facing our global society. The 2017 class includes Pulitzer Prize and Wolf Prize winners; MacArthur fellows; Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony award winners.

Sumit Kumar Ganguly
Sumit Kumar Ganguly

“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the academy’s board of directors. “Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation.”

Elected for lifelong contributions in psychology and cognitive science, Busemeyer is one of the world’s leading researchers in the theory of human decision-making, with work that centers on psychology but extends to economics, business, marketing, political science, engineering and computer science, among other fields. In recent years, he has nearly single-handedly launched an influential new field of scientific inquiry called quantum cognition, an approach to decision-making that views human cognition as governed not by “rational” principles of standard probability theory but by a probability system borrowed from quantum theory.
Busemeyer, who came to IU Bloomington in 1997, holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of South Carolina and served two years as manager of the Cognition and Decision Program at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. A past editor of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology and current editor of Decision, he is also the author of more than 100 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals in several fields and books on decision-making and cognitive modeling.

He has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 1997. In 2015, Busemeyer was awarded the Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, an honorary society for distinguished researchers in experimental psychology.

Ganguly, the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 20 books on the contemporary domestic and international politics of South Asia, also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

He serves on the editorial boards of more than a half dozen journals, including Current History, The India Review, International Security and Journal of Democracy, and is an associate editor of Security Studies. His co-authored book, “How Rivalries End,” won the J. David Singer Book Award from the International Studies Association Midwest Section.

Ganguly, who holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Illinois, came to IU Bloomington in 2003, after previously teaching at Michigan State University, Hunter College, Columbia University and the University of Texas. He has been the Visiting Buffet Professor of International Studies at Northwestern University, a fellow and a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., and a visiting fellow at the Center on International Security and Cooperation and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. In 2017-18 he will be a visiting fellow at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.

Watts, the Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music in the Department of Piano in the Jacobs School of Music, is recognized around the globe as a musical genius. He won a Grammy Award in 1964 for most promising new classical recording artist, and his 1976 recital on PBS’ “Live from Lincoln Center” was the first full-length recital broadcast nationally in the history of television.

He was the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University, at age 26, and in 2011 he received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. He joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in 2004 and was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2014. He was promoted to distinguished professor, the highest academic rank the university bestows upon its faculty, in 2017.

Others with IU connections who were elected this year as fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences include Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, chief curator of the core exhibition of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, who received a doctorate in folklore from IU in 1972; Douglas E. Soltis, Distinguished Professor in the Florida Museum of Natural History and Department of Biology at the University of Florida, who earned a doctorate in evolutionary biology from IU in 1980; and Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who did his graduate studies at the IU Jacobs School of Music.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by prominent figures in the American War of Independence, led by John Adams and James Bowdoin. It has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King Jr. in the 20th century. The new class will be inducted Oct. 7 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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