Kerry Emanuel Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

MIT News
April 12, 2017

EAPS congratulates Kerry A. Emanuel, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Co-Director of the Lorenz Center, on his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Read this story at MIT News

Eleven MIT faculty members, including the chancellor of the Institute, are among 228 leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced today.

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications, as well as studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

Those elected from MIT this year are:

- Angelika Amon, the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor of Cancer Research

- Hari Balakrishnan, the Fujitsu Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

- Cynthia Barnhart, MIT chancellor, Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering, and professor of civil and environmental engineering

- Edward S. Boyden, the AT&T Chair in the MIT Media Lab and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences

- Kerry A. Emanuel, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences

- Joichi Ito, professor of the practice in media arts and sciences and director of the MIT Media Lab

- Nergis Mavalvala, the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and associate head of the Department of Physics

- Earl K. Miller, the Picower Professor in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

- Mary C. Potter, professor emerita of psychology

- Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

- Paul L. Schechter, the William A. M. Burden Professor of Astrophysics, Emeritus

“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” says 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.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 7 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Maria Mitchell in the 19th century, and Albert Einstein and Toni Morrison in the 20th century. The current membership includes more than 200 Nobel laureates and 100 Pulitzer Prize winners.


Kerry Emanuel is a prominent meteorologist and climate scientist who specializes in moist convection in the atmosphere, and tropical cyclones. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, the role of clouds, water vapor, and upper-ocean mixing in regulation of climate, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction.

Emanuel received an S.B. degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Ph.D. in Meteorology (1978) both from MIT. After completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty of the Atmospheric Sciences department of the University of California at Los Angeles where he remained for three years, with a brief hiatus filming tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas.

In 1981 he joined the faculty of the Department of Meteorology at MIT and was promoted to Full Professor in 1987 in what had since becomes the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). In 1989 he assumed directorship of EAPS Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, a post he held until 1997. Subsequently he chaired the EAPS Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate from 2009 to 2012. He is co-founder of the MIT Lorenz Center, a climate think tank which fosters creative approaches to learning how climate works.

Professor Emanuel is the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and three books, including Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, published by Oxford University Press, and What We Know about Climate Change, published by the MIT Press.