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Mike Gazzaniga ‘61 Elected to NAS

Gazzaniga1.jpgThe College’s Office of Public Affairs ran a splashy press release noting that former Dean of the Faculty Mike Gazzaniga had been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his work in cognitive neuroscience and split-brain research, as well as research on how the brain enables the mind. The NAS was described as follows:

Election to the NAS is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. There are a total of 2,113 active members and 418 foreign associates.

Gazzaniga ‘61 was Dean of the Faculty from 2002-2004. In the latter year, he received a vote of no-confidence from the College’s Committee of Chairs, and though he had broad support from the College’s top scholars, he left the deanship shortly thereafter. He departed Hanover for UC Santa Barbara the following year.

The College’s faculty is rather thinly represented on the NAS as compared to our Ivy League sister schools.

National Academy of Science.jpgDartmouth: 2

Brown: 7

Penn: 27

Princeton: 74

Columbia: 45

Yale: 60

Cornell: 34

Harvard: 160

Addendum: The nation’s most prestigious group of research universities, the Association of American Universities (A.A.U.), recently voted to expel the University of Nebraska. The New York Times reported :

For several years, Nebraska has lagged behind most others on the criteria for membership — primarily competitive research financing and the share of faculty in the National Academies, which issues policy reports and advice…

Although membership in the association — which now will have 61 members, including most Ivy League institutions and many of the top state schools, like Texas A&M and the University of North Carolina — brings no specific benefits, many campuses see it as a proud indicator of their status. [Emphasis added]

The Ivy members of the A.A.U. are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Penn and Columbia.

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