The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the names of twenty-five new MacArthur Fellows for 2008.
Selected for their creativity, originality, and potential, recipients of what are often called the "genius awards" will each receive $500,000 over five years with no strings attached. The fellowships are awarded to women and men of all ages and at all career stages and are designed to make it easier for fellows to accelerate their current activities or take their work in new directions.
This year's recipients include Will Allen, an urban farmer working to transform the cultivation, production, and delivery of healthy foods to underserved populations; Tara Donovan, a sculptor who transforms ordinary materials into works reminiscent of geological and biological forms; Wafaa El-Sadr, an infectious disease physician who has introduced multi-pronged treatment strategies for pandemic diseases; Walter Kitundu, an instrument maker and composer inventing instruments inspired by experimental and traditional musical forms to produce electro-acoustic works; John Ochsendorf, a structural engineer�and architectural preservationist working to restore structures from the distant past and identify ancient technologies for use in contemporary constructions; and Nancy Siraisi, a historian of medicine who examines the impact of medical theory and practice on Renaissance society, culture, and religion.
"The MacArthur Fellows Program celebrates extraordinarily creative individuals who inspire new heights in human achievement," said MacArthur Foundation president Jonathan Fanton. "With their boldness, courage, and uncommon energy, this new group of fellows, men and women of all ages in diverse fields, exemplifies the boundless nature of the human mind and spirit."
For the complete list of 2008 MacArthur Fellows, visit the MacArthur Foundation Web site.