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WHOI Scientist Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 3, 2005

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Senior Scientist Stanley Hart of the Geology and Geophysics Department was recently elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest learned societies in the nation. Dr. Hart is among the 196 Fellows and 17 Foreign Honorary Members elected to the 225th Class, which includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, journalist Tom Brokaw, actor Sidney Poitier, Washington Post Company CEO Donald Graham, Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial designer Maya Lin, and four Pulitzer Prize winners.

Stan Hart is a geologist and isotope geochemist whose recent research has focused on the origin of hot spots and mantle plumes and the dyunamics and evolution of the deep earth.  He received a B.S degree in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1956, an M.S. degree in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1957, and a Ph.D. degree in geochemistry from MIT in 1960. He was a staff member at the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1961 to 1975, when he joined the faculty at MIT as a professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. In 1989 he joined the scientific staff at WHOI as a senior scientist and is currently a Fellow in the WHOI Deep Ocean Exploration Institute. A member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1983, he was honored by the Geochemical Society in 1992 with its V.M. Goldschmidt Medal and by the American Geophysical Union in 1997 with its Harry Hess Medal.

New Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected by current members of the Academy. Members are drawn from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business. The unique structure of the American Academy allows Members to conduct interdisciplinary studies that draw on the range of academic and intellectual disciplines.

The selection of Foreign Honorary Members continues the tradition of honoring distinguished experts and intellectuals from outside the United States whose work complements the values of the American Academy. Niels Bohr, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Albert Camus were among past elected Foreign Honorary Members. This year’s class includes Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska of Poland,  Brenda Milner of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University, one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience, and Jerusalem-based pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” According to the Academy’s announcement, it has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members “the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Ben Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of its membership, the American Academy conducts thoughtful, innovative, non-partisan studies on international security, social policy, education, and the humanities.”

The Academy will welcome this year’s new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members at the annual Induction Ceremony at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 8, 2005. A full list of new Members is available on the Academy website at

WHOI Director and President Robert Gagosian and Senior Scientist John Whitehead of the Physical Oceanography Department are also Fellows of the Academy.  Gagosian and Whitehead were elected in 2002.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, independent marine research, engineering, and higher education organization located in Falmouth, MA. Its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, the Institution is organized into five scientific departments, interdisciplinary research institutes and a marine policy center, and conducts a joint graduate education program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.