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mahatmakanejeeves

(57,269 posts)
Thu Sep 22, 2016, 10:36 AM Sep 2016

MacArthur Foundation Announces 2016 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners [View all]

Source: New York Times

MacArthur Foundation Announces 2016 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners

By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER SEPT. 22, 2016

Getting a phone call from an unidentified number in Chicago in late summer is a fantasy many artists, scientists and other creative people have entertained. But that doesn’t mean it seems real when it actually happens.
....

This year’s winners of the MacArthur fellowships, awarded for exceptional “originality, insight and potential,” and publicly announced on Thursday, include writers, visual artists, scientists, nonprofit organization leaders and others, who are chosen at a moment when the recognition and money — a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years — will make a difference.

The honorees include relatively well-known figures in the arts like the poet Claudia Rankine, 53, whose book “Citizen,” (2014) which explored racism in everyday life, won numerous awards and made the New York Times best-seller list; the essayist Maggie Nelson, 43, who won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism for “The Argonauts,” a hard-to-classify exploration of gender, motherhood and identity; and Gene Luen Yang, 43, who in January became the first graphic novelist named national ambassador for children’s literature by the Library of Congress.

The youngest fellow is Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins, 31, known for plays, like “An Octoroon” and “Neighbors,” that address race, class and history, sometimes through the remixing of charged stereotypes. The oldest is Joyce J. Scott, 67, a Baltimore-based artist whose work includes performance art and large-scale sculptural pieces that incorporate traditional beadwork into pointed commentaries on American culture, the black female body and other subjects. ... If there’s a detectable theme to the group, it might be a willingness to cross borders and to work in the cracks among existing genres, disciplines and institutions.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/22/arts/macarthur-foundation-announces-2016-genius-grant-winners.html



Hat tip the Newseum

Rice engineer secures prestigious MacArthur fellowship

By Kim McGuire | September 21, 2016 | Updated: September 22, 2016 8:45am



Photo: Marie D. De Jesus, Staff

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a Rice University bioengineering professor, is a 2016 MacArthur Fellow.

Babies were dying in the Malawi hospital and there was little Rebecca Richards-Kortum could do about it. ... For Richards-Kortum, a bioengineering professor at Rice University, it was a heartbreaking realization, one that haunted her as she toured the modest health care facility more than a decade ago.

But her despair was quickly replaced by hope, when she noticed a room full of broken medical equipment - donated machines rendered useless by the African country's unreliable power supply.

"I'm an engineer," Richards-Kortum recalled saying to herself as she surveyed the equipment. "I can do something about this. I can fix this."

Engineers are good at fixing problems, and Richards-Kortum is an exceptional engineer, so good the MacArthur Foundation on Thursday named her a 2016 MacArthur Fellow. More commonly known as a genius grant, the prestigious MacArthur fellowship comes with $625,000 paid over five years.

Earlier article announcing the award:

Rice engineer secures prestigious $625,000 'genius grant'

By Kim McGuire

Updated 12:30 am, Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a bioengineering professor at Rice University, was named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow by the MacArthur Foundation.

More commonly known as a genius grant, the prestigious MacArthur fellowship comes with $625,000 paid over five years.

The MacArthur Foundation considers the no-strings-attached grants as investments in the future of recipients, usually a hodgepodge from among the nation's best artists, historians, scientists and activists.

RELATED: Richards-Kortum calls honor 'a huge responsibility'

For Richards-Kortum, it's a nod to the global work she's done to deliver low-cost medical technology to Third World countries. That includes a piece of machinery she helped develop that assists babies who struggle to breathe and has significantly decreased mortality rates in countries using it.
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