22 September 2009

Genius grants: Members of the Tribe

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles discussed the MacArthur Foundation's list of "genius grant" recipients, based on today's New York Times article.

The MacArthur Foundation gives each of its 24 recipients $500,000 over 5 years in unrestricted funds to continue his or her work. Grants generally go to artists, scientists and thinkers whose work crosses disciplines and boundaries.

Three of the most obvious members of the tribe (MOTs) are

- Short-story writer Deborah Eisenberg, 63, a short-story writer, who grew up in Winnetka, Illinois. The NYT Book Review called her "one of the most important fiction writers now at work."

- Evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro, 33, of Pennsylvania State University, is known for mtDNA analysis of the dodo and ecology articles in journals. Smithsonian Magazine (in 2007) named her one of 37 young American innovators under the age of 36.

- Law professor Elyn Saks, 53, of the University of Southern California, who fights for the rights of the mentally ill and has written of her own mental illness.

Tracing the Tribe believes there may be a few more MOTs on the complete list of recipients.

Read the complete Jewish Journal article and the New York Times report. View the MacArthur Foundation site at the link above for more information on each of the 24 recipients.

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