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(Last updated 5/11/04)



COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three Ohio State University professors have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious international learned society and interdisciplinary research institution. The three professors –- one each from chemistry, linguistics, and psychology -- will join the ranks of world-renowned leaders in scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs.

“This is a truly outstanding achievement for these professors and OSU,” said Tom Rosol, interim vice president for research. “It highlights the quality of our exceptional faculty and the rapid progress in achieving the goals of the Academic Plan.”

The new fellows are:

  • Marilynn Brewer, professor of psychology and Ohio Eminent Scholar in social psychology. Brewer was recognized for her work on social identity and intergroup relations. Her research has shown that discrimination and prejudice is often driven, not by hatred of outsiders, but by love of insiders. This means that discriminatory practices, such as preferential hiring, often result because people are discriminating in favor of their own group, not because they are opposed to people from other groups. This has implications for anti-discrimination law, because many such laws state that there must be evidence of discrimination against a group of people – which Brewer found may not always be present. Brewer is also well-known for developing the optimal distinctiveness theory, which helps explain what makes people identify with certain groups. The theory says that people need to both fit in with a group, and be distinctive from the group at the same time. This tension drives people’s group behavior.

"Dr. Brewer's election to the Academy is richly deserved," said Randall Ripley, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. "We are proud to have her associated with our college and are delighted to see her receive recognition for a career of distinction and accomplishment. She is one of the premier social psychologists in the world and, with her colleagues at Ohio State, has developed one of the strongest social psychology programs anywhere.”

  • Malcolm Chisholm, professor of chemistry. Chisholm was recognized for pioneering the use of amide and alkoxide ligands in organometallic chemistry and for elucidating the reactions of metal-metal multiple bonds. He is working to develop plastics with unusual applications, from tissue engineering to electronics. One focus of his research concerns polymers made from renewable resources, such as corn; another concerns "smart" polymers that conduct electricity and form moving parts for electronic devices. He is studying the molecular structure of these plastics and finding innovative methods to form them and bond them with metals. Chisholm is also a member of the Royal Society (UK), which awarded him its Sir Humphrey Davy Medal in 1999.

"It is a real pleasure to have one of the College's most distinguished faculty recognized by the AAAS," said Richard R. Freeman, dean and distinguished Professor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. "It certainly proves the value of Ohio State's decision to support its selective investment departments, for Professor Chisholm was the first chemistry hire under that program."

  • Brian Joseph, Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics and the Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Linguistics. Joseph is one of the world’s leading specialists in historical linguistics, which is the study of how languages change and develop through time. Much of his attention has been focused on the Greek language, from its earliest appearance about 1500 B.C. to the present – a span of about 3,500 years. He has also examined close relatives of Greek such as Latin, Sanskrit and Albanian. His study of Albanian ties in with another area of his expertise, Balkan linguistics. Joseph has worked to learn about earlier stages of these languages, and tracing the way in which they have progressed through history. Joseph is editor of Language, the official journal of the Linguistics Society of America. He also has received the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

"The College of Humanities is very proud that the Academy has recognized one of our faculty members as being among the nation's top scholars," said Jacqueline Jones Royster, interim dean of humanities. "Brian Joseph exemplifies the highest level of academic accomplishment in our college. He is an OSU treasure, and we are thoroughly delighted that he is being honored by such a prestigious acknowledgement of his work."

The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots "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 unique structure of the American Academy allows the Academy to conduct interdisciplinary studies on international security, social policy, education, and the humanities that draw on the range of academic and intellectual disciplines of its members. The current membership of over 4,500 includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The Academy will welcome this year's new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members at its annual Induction Ceremony in October at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Contact: Marilynn Brewer, (614) 292-9640; Brewer.64@osu.edu
Malcolm Chisholm, (614) 292-7216; Chisholm.4@osu.edu
Brian Joseph, (614) 292-4981; Joseph.1@osu.edu

Written by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu, and Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu