American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects Petroski, Five Others from Duke

May 7, 2003

Six Duke University scholars and researchers have been elected to join the 2003 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an international learned society composed of the world's leading scientists, scholars, artists, business people and public leaders.

The academy announced Monday its newly elected Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members. The six scholars from Duke are Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic professor of civil and environmental engineering; theological ethics professor Stanley M. Hauerwas; religion professor Ed P. Sanders; Joel L. Fleishman, professor of law and public policy studies; philosopher and senior research scholar Fred Dretske; and Dr. Ralph Snyderman, chancellor for health affairs and executive dean of the School of Medicine, and president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System.

The 2003 class of 187 Fellows and 29 Foreign Honorary Members includes four college presidents, three Nobel Prize winners and four Pulitzer Prize winners. They include Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; journalist Walter Cronkite; philanthropist William H. Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donald Glaser.

Petroski has written about bridges, pencils, paperclips, books and bookshelves, engineering errors and more. His most recent book, "Paperboy: Confessions of a Future Engineer," describes how working as a paperboy in Queens helped shape his understanding of engineering. He has been elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering.

Hauerwas was named "America's Best Theologian" by Time magazine in 2001. His book, "A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic," was selected as one of the 100 most important books on religion of the 20th century.

Sanders has received several awards and prizes, including the Grawemeyer Prize for the best book on religion published in the 1980s for his book, "Jesus and Judaism," which explored the origins of the Christian movement and its intimate relationship with first-century Judaism.

Fleishman is the founding director of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and is currently director of the institute's Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center for Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions. He is the retired president of The Atlantic Philanthropies (USA) and is an accomplished leader in the field of public policy and philanthropy.

Dretske is a leading researcher in the field of cognitive science and the study of how the mind perceives the natural world. He has written several landmark books, including "Knowledge and the Flow of Information," "Explaining Behavior" and "Naturalizing the Mind."

Snyderman is an immunologist whose research contributed to the understanding of the precise mechanisms of how white blood cells respond to chemical signals to mediate host defense or tissue damage. As chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, he has helped guide a number of important initiatives at Duke, including the establishment of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, and the Duke University Health System.

New Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected by current members of the academy. The academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and others "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people."

The academy will welcome this year's new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members at the annual induction ceremony at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., in October.

A full list of new members is available on the academy website at