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Lonnie Thompson

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2019

Lonnie Thompson is a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and a research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center. His research has propelled the field of ice core paleoclimatology out of the polar regions to the highest tropical and subtropical ice fields.

With his 2019 election as a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he joins more than 200 individuals, including former First Lady Michelle L.R. Obama and artist Mark Bradford, with compelling achievements in academia, business, government and public affairs who have been elected to the Academy.

2019's inductees include poet and foundation president Elizabeth Alexander (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), chemical and biological engineer Kristi S. Anseth (University of Colorado Boulder), gender theorist Judith Butler (University of California, Berkeley), economist Xiaohong Chen (Yale University), neurooncologist Robert B. Darnell (Rockefeller University), journalist James M. Fallows (The Atlantic), author Jonathan Franzen, cell biologist Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz (Howard Hughes Medical Institute), business leader Charles H. Robbins (Cisco Systems), mathematician Sylvia Serfaty (New York University), philosopher Tommie Shelby (Harvard University) and actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith.

Thompson also joins 42 international honorary members from 23 countries including parasitologist Nadira D. Karunaweera (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka), public servant and author Kishore Mahbubani (University of Singapore), theologian and commentator Mona Siddiqui (University of Edinburgh) and historian Eusebio Leal Spengler (Office of the Historian of the City of Havana).

Thompson was inducted, along with the rest of this year's class, at a ceremony in October in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and joins the Academy members who came before him, including Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781) and Alexander Hamilton (1791) in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), and Charles Darwin (1874) in the nineteenth; Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966) in the twentieth, and more recently Antonin Scalia (2003), Michael Bloomberg (2007), John Lithgow (2010), Judy Woodruff (2012) and Bryan Stevenson (2014).