The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named twenty-five new MacArthur Fellows for 2005.
Selected for their creativity, originality, and potential, the recipients of what are often referred to as the "Genius Awards" each receive $500,000 over five years with no strings attached. The unrestricted nature of the awards allows MacArthur Fellows to accelerate their activities or take them in new directions, while underscoring the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors.
This year's recipients include Nicole King, a molecular biologist who is working to reconstruct the emergence of multicellular organisms from unicellular life; Joseph Curtin, a violin maker who produces world-class instruments; Fazel Sheikh, a photographer who uses portraiture to bring the world's displaced people into focus; Ted Ames, a fisherman who fuses the roles of scientist and lobsterman in responding to growing threats to the lobster fishery; and Claire Gmachl, a laser physicist who engineers lasers for important applications in such fields as environmental monitoring, medicine, industry, and communications.
"Each announcement of new MacArthur Fellows has been an opportunity to recognize the critical role played in society by highly creative people working across a wide spectrum of activity," said foundation president Jonathan F. Fanton. "MacArthur Fellows reveal the wonders of the natural world, inspire us with their original thoughts and writing, and offer important new approaches for addressing significant social challenges on local, national, and global scenes."
For a complete list of this year's fellows, see: http://www.macfound.org/programs/fel/winners_overview.htm