Two Guggenheims; three named to AAAS

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation provides about 200 fellowships each year for advanced professionals in all fields (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, creative arts) except the performing arts.

Guggenheim Fellowships are large grants to selected individuals for six to twelve months to help provide Fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. No special conditions attach to the grants, which last year averaged about $34,000 each, and Fellows may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work.

This year, two professors from the University have been honored:

Larry Silver, Ph.D., James and Nan Farquhar Professor of History of Art, proposed studying the rise of visual genres in the Antwerp art market. Author of a general survey text, “Art in History” (1993), he specializes in the paintings and graphics of the Netherlands and Germany during the Renaissance and Reformation eras. Silver has published books and articles and museum catalogues on artists from Jan van Eyck and Albrecht Dürer to Bruegel and Rembrandt. He organized and curated several prints exhibitions, including one on early maps and another, showing at Penn this spring, on modern Jewish artists.

Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Ph.D., professor of East Asian art and curator of Chinese art at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, proposed studying Chinese architecture of the fourth to sixth centuries.

Her interests in East Asian art and architecture are focused on architecture and city planning in China and Japan before the 14th century and the ways in which Chinese art forms impact art of non-Chinese peoples at China’s northern borders.

Among her recent books are “Chinese Imperial City Planning” (1990; 2nd edition 1999) and “3,000 Years of Chinese Architecture” (2001).

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Kathleen Hall Jamieson

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Robert Summers

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Gary Tomlinson

Three professors from the University were named fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences last month. The academy named 185 new fellows this year.

The Academy was founded in the middle of the American Revolution by John Adams, John Hancock and other leaders of the young nation “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.”

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Ph.D., dean of the Annenberg School of Communication and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, served as director of communication for the U.S. House Committee on Aging. She is author of “Packaging the Presidency,” Eloquence in an Electronic Age” and “Beyond the Double Bind: Women and Leadership.” She studies institutional communication and various forms of campaign communication.

Robert Summers, Ph.D., professor of economics emeritus, studies how economic analysis can help explain phenomena, or what incentives would induce desired behaviors. He is renowned for his work on the construction of economic data that can be consistently compared across countries. The Kravis-Summers international comparisons of incomes per head, now widely used, corrects for purchasing parity, and the Heston-Summers Penn World Tables, devised with Economics Professor Alan Heston, provides data for much of the modern empirical work on international comparisons of growth.

Gary Tomlinson, Ph.D., Annenberg Professor of Humanities and chair of the music department, specializes in music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, opera, and music and cultural history. A former MacArthur Fellow, 1988-93, Tomlinson publishes in a number of fields. In his book “Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance” he deals with the impact of literary forces on changing musical styles around 1600. Other books include “Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera,” and “Music in Renaissance Magic.” His current work concerns Aztec song and theories of European colonialism.

Armstrong honored

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Clay Armstrong
Photo by Candace diCarlo

Clay M. Armstrong, M.D., professor of physiology at the School of Medicine, was one of four scientists to be presented the Gairdner Foundation of Canada’s 2001 International Award for achievement in medical science. He and two other researchers will be honored in October for advances in understanding the molecular structure of ion channels and how they generate nerve impulses. Armstrong uses the giant axon cells of squid to study the process which opens and closes sodium and potassium ion channels. Of 251 past recipients of the Gairdner’s International Award, 54 have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

National Academy of Sciences

Charles R. Alcock, Ph.D., who joined the faculty in 2000 as Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of 72 researchers nationwide inducted this year. Alcock serves as lead researcher on the dark matter MACHO Project, that has found evidence of approximately 20 compact but weighty objects, nicknamed MACHOs (Massive Compact Halo Objects), in just one small slice of the universe. The discovery has led Alcock and other to believe that they may account for a significant percentage of our galaxy’s mass.

Alcock’s induction brings to 35 the number of Penn researchers in the 1,874-member private organization of scientists and engineers founded in 1863 by Congress and dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.

Originally published on May 17, 2001