Established in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Science is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States, with its first members elected to the Academy in 1781, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.
Professor Bland-Hawthorn joins the Academy’s members elected from across academia, the arts, industry, policy, research, and science, and includes more than 40 International Honorary Members (IHM) from 23 countries. Twenty academics at Australian institutions have been recognised before now.
When announcing this year's new members, Academy President David W. Oxtoby said, "With the election of these members, the Academy is honouring excellence, innovation, and leadership and recognising a broad array of stellar accomplishments."
"We hope every new member celebrates this achievement and joins our work advancing the common good," said Professor Oxtoby.
The award recognises an excellent culture of unique Australian innovations as much as anything else. I feel honoured to have been involved in this activity for the past thirty years. There is so much going on now, and this award serves to encourage all of us across Australia to keep going.
As the Director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Optical Society of America, Professor Bland-Hawthorn is recognised as a leading researcher in astrophysics. He has won multiple awards and honours, including the Ranken Lyle Medal in 2018 from the Australian Academy of Science and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Aix-Marseille last month.
"I had a succession of emails from senior US colleagues congratulating me on my election. It was lovely to be recognised in this way, particularly by colleagues already in the American Academy of Arts and Science whom I have admired for my entire career," said Professor Bland-Hawthorn.
“The award recognises an excellent culture of unique Australian innovations as much as anything else. I feel honoured to have been involved in this activity for the past thirty years. There is so much going on now, and this award serves to encourage all of us across Australia to keep going.”
Head of the School of Physics, Professor Tara Murphy, highlighted Professor Bland-Hawthorn's continued and wide-ranging career achievements.
“Professor Bland-Hawthorn's election to the Academy is a well-deserved recognition of his scientific achievement and broader academic endeavours. Professor Bland-Hawthorn is a polymath whose enthusiasm and intellectual prowess are an inspiration to scientists within Australia and around the world.”
This year, 269 outstanding individuals have been elected to the Academy. Professor Bland-Hawthorn will be formally inducted at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 29 September 2023.