Vol. 6, No.1
Several Arts and Sciences faculty members have been honored for their bodies of work with achievement awards and election to prestigious academies this year. Among them is Jane Guyer, a professor of anthropology, who has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Guyer's research has focused on material life, with major emphasis on issues related to food, oil, and money. Most recently, she has been studying the China-India-Africa-Brazil axis of global trade in small consumer items, but she has devoted her career to this point to economic transformations in West Africa, particularly the economy, the division of labor, and the management of money. Guyer's most recent book is Marginal Gains: Monetary Transactions in Atlantic Africa (2004), which re-examines the anthropological and historical record on monetary transactions in Atlantic Africa.
A member of the faculty since 2002, she holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and is affiliated with the Center for Africana Studies. Her election to the NAS brings to 21 the number of Hopkins faculty in the academy. Among the academy's renowned members have been Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Orville Wright. In congratulating Guyer on her election, James B. Knapp Dean Adam Falk said, "I am immensely pleased to see her honored by election to the National Academy, both because she is personally so deserving, and because it represents a recognition and appreciation for her field of inquiry, one that is ever more critically relevant in our world."
Astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner Riccardo Giacconi was honored this year with a lifetime achievement award from the National Inventors Hall of Fame, a prize given annually to someone who has fostered creativity and innovation throughout his or her lifetime. Giacconi certainly fits the bill, having been awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in physics for pioneering X-ray astronomy.
He first conceived the notion of launching X-ray detectors into space on rockets, which helped researchers discover the first cosmic X-ray source, back in 1962. Then in 1970, he guided implementation of the first-ever orbiting X-ray observatory, which eventually led to the discovery of black holes. Giacconi also played a key role in many other landmark astronomy programs that have enhanced our understanding of the formation, evolution, and development of the early universe.
Giacconi has been a faculty member in Arts and Sciences since 1982 and was named a University Professor in 2004. He was founding director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), located on the Homewood campus; under his leadership, STScI developed the expertise and capabilities to direct the science mission for NASA's orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.