Venerable "learned society" elects Jack Liu

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Sustainability scholar and University Distinguished Professor Jianguo “Jack” Liu has become the first from Michigan State University to be elected to the American Philosophical Society - the oldest "learned society" in the United States.

The society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. Liu, along with 33 others, was elected at the society's semiannual meeting April 25-26 in Philadelphia.

Liu, the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability, is director of MSU’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. His broad interests include the integration of ecology with social sciences. Liu is particularly keen to connect seemingly unconnected issues, such as divorce and environmental sustainability. His current scholarly work is centering on telecoupling – socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances. This is a new avenue of research that enables natural and social scientists across various disciplines to understand and generate information for managing how humans and nature sustainably coexist around the world.

The society elects members for extraordinary accomplishments in intellectual endeavor. New members are elected by their peers in the society in five classes: mathematical and physical sciences; biological sciences; social sciences; humanities and the arts; and professions, leaders in public and private affairs. Liu, a faculty member in MSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, is one of five Americans honored in the biological sciences this year. Two Norwegian Nobel Laureates in neuroscience round out the category as international recipients.

Included among this year’s new members are John Holdren, director of the White House Office for Science and Technology, and business magnate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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