Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In the announcement made by the Academy on Wednesday, Chimamanda was listed among 40 foreign honorary members from 19 countries.
Other foreigners honourees are scientist Ruth Arnon; chemist Clare Grey; vaccinologist Rino Rappuoli; former Health Minister for China Zhu Chen; archaeologist and expert on animal mummies Salima Ikram; Israeli novelist David Grossman; award-winning actor and activist Sir Ian McKellen; and president of the Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation and former prime minister of Italy Romano Prodi.
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7, 2017, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Among the people elected are some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business, and philanthropic leaders. They will all form the 237th class of the academy.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centres, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing — and opportunities available to — the nation and the world.
Members contribute to Academy publications and studies in science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts, and education; and American institutions and the public good.
“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s board of directors.
“Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the Academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation.”
Academy president Jonathan F. Fanton said, “In a tradition reaching back to the earliest days of our nation, the honor of election to the American Academy is also a call to service.
“Through our projects, publications, and events, the Academy provides members with opportunities to make common cause and produce the useful knowledge for which the Academy’s 1780 charter calls.”
In March, Adichie was also elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the second Nigerian to be so honoured, after Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.
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