The MacArthur Foundation announced its latest class of fellows. The so-called ‘genius grants’ provide 5 years of no-strings-attached funding to encourage the fellows to pursue the creative work that attracted the Foundation’s attention in the first place.
There are 23 fellows in this year’s group and eight of them work in scientific and/or technical fields. Those eight are:
- Daryl Baldwin, a linguist and cultural preservationist working to restore the culture of the Maayami (Miami) people to their descendants.
- Subhash Khot, a theoretical computer scientist working on problems of optimization and approximation in computational complexity
- Dianne Newman, a microbiologist studying the metabolic processes of ancient microbes
- Victoria Orphan, a geobiologist exploring the microbial communities in extreme environments and their influence on the oceans
- Manu Prakash, a physical biologist exploring how organisms work from a physics perspective and an inventor of low cost research tools suitable for fieldwork
- Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a bioengineer working on diagnostic technologies that can be used in low resource settings
- Bill Thies, a computer scientist helping create communications and information technologies for use in low-income communities of the developing world.
- JIn-Quan Yu, a synthetic chemist pioneering new techniques for breaking inert hydrogen-carbon bonds (a critical step in creating many complex compounds