Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman Elected into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Distinguished Professor and Nobel laureate Dan Shechtman, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). Founded in 1780, the AAAS is a prestigious honor society that recognizes achievement in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. The newly elected class of AAAS Fellows will be inducted during a ceremony held on October 11, 2014 in Cambridge, Mass.

The academy announced the selection of Prof. Shechtman and 204 others on Wednesday (April 23, 2014).  The prestigious group, which now has 4,600 elected members, includes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers and artists and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders.  Its ranks include 250 Nobel Prize winners and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. Prominent members include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Mead and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dan Shechtman
Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman

“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Don Randel, chairman of the AAAS board of directors.

“The knowledge and expertise of our members give the academy a unique capacity and responsibility to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.”

Prof. Shechtman, of the Technion’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, received the 2011 Nobel Prize for his discovery of the quasicrystals – an entirely new form of matter that can be used in applications ranging from the formation of durable steel used for fine instrumentation to non-stick insulation for electrical wires and cooking equipment.

Among Prof. Shechtman’s other prestigious honors are the Aminoff Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2000), Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics (1999), Israel Prize in Physics (1998), Weizmann Prize in Science (1993), Rothschild Prize in Engineering (1990) and International Award for New Materials of the American Physical Society (1987).  He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

Two other newly elected AAAS members were born in Israel: Princeton University astrophysicist Professor Neta Bahcall, and Stanford University Professor Daphne Koller, co-founder of the online learning platform Coursera.  U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations U.S. Martin Indyk was also elected.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is a vital component of Cornell NYC Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City’s economy.

American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion—more than $1.9 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.


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