Jo Handelsman, Class II Speaker - 2019 Induction Ceremony

07 Nov 2019 10:12 0
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Jo Handelsman addresses the loss of our earth's soil in her remarks for Class II: Biological Sciences at the 2019 Induction Ceremony (2:17), following an introduction by Geri Richmond.

Held on Saturday, October 12, 2019, the Induction Ceremony served as the 2083rd Stated Meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Class speakers included: climatologists Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie G. Thompson; microbiologist Jo Handelsman; diplomat Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein; historian Margaret D. Jacobs; and lawyer and advocate Sherrilyn Ifill.


Jo Handelsman is a maverick scientist who challenges scientific dogma and social norms. She is responsible for groundbreaking studies on the structure and function of microbial communities and seeks to understand how microorganisms communicate with and antagonize each other. She is known for pioneering the field of functional metagenomics, a term she coined. She is also widely recognized for using experimental data to challenge the scientific community to confront unconscious biases, adopt evidence-based teaching practices, and treat mentoring as a scientific endeavor. She is currently the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Vilas Research Professor, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. She previously served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama as the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin and Yale University before that. She has authored over two hundred scientific research publications, thirty editorials, and twenty-nine essays as well as six books about teaching and mentoring. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama in 2011, and in 2012, Nature named her one of “ten people who mattered this year” for her research on gender bias in science. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.

Geraldine (Geri) Richmond was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006 and serves as Secretary of the Academy.


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