In her pioneering studies, Cynthia Beall became used to the heady atmosphere high in the mountains of Tibet, Ethiopia and Peru. Now she'll share rarified air with Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and more as a new member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Beall, a Distinguished University Professor and the S. Idyll Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University, has spent her career uncovering how modern human populations continue to evolve, adapting to the dearth of oxygen at high altitudes.
The academy was formed in 1780 by founding fathers John Adams, John Hancock and others to "cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honour, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people."
"It's a great honor joining some remarkable members from the present and the past," Beall said. "George Washington and Margaret Meade were members at one time, and Charles Darwin. What more could an anthropologist want?"
Beall is Case Western Reserve's third academy Fellow. Lynn Landmesser, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the School of Medicine was elected in 1993. Simon Ostrach, the Wilbert J. Austin Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Engineering, in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering at Case School of Engineering, was elected in 2001.
A 37-year faculty member, Beall is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical society, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Human Biology Association's Franz Boas Distinguished Achievement Award and its Raymond Pearl Memorial Award.
"Cynthia is an extraordinary scientist, a wonderful colleague, an outstanding teacher and mentor, and she is passionately devoted to developing the public understanding of science," said Cyrus Taylor, dean of th
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Case Western Reserve University