Two NYU Faculty Elected to Royal Society

July 01, 2024

Kwame Anthony Appiah, a New York University professor of law and philosophy, and J. Anthony Movshon, an NYU neuroscientist, have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Appiah, who penned The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity in 2018 and has authored three novels, has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and, in 2008, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Prior to coming to NYU in 2014, Appiah taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and Duke universities and the University of Ghana. Movshon, University Professor and Silver Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at NYU, was elected as a foreign member. Among his honors are the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics, the António Champalimaud Vision Award, the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society, and the Minerva Foundation’s “Golden Brain” Award.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, a New York University professor of law and philosophy, and J. Anthony Movshon, an NYU neuroscientist, have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

“This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry,” said Sir Adrian Smith, president of the Royal Society. “From visualizing the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges.”

Appiah, a professor in NYU’s School of Law and Department of Philosophy, was elected as an honorary member. A renowned philosopher whose scholarship spans a range of academic disciplines, Appiah has published in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, political theory, moral philosophy, and African and African-American literary and cultural studies—and his Experiments in Ethics, published in 2008, considers the importance of the sciences in thinking about morality. His prize-winning books include The Ethics of Identity and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. With Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Appiah edited Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, and he writes regularly as “The Ethicist” in the New York Times Magazine.

Appiah, who penned The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity in 2018 and has authored three novels, has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and, in 2008, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012, and Color Conscious, which he wrote with Amy Gutmann, now the U.S. ambassador to Germany, won the Ralph J. Bunche Award of the American Political Science Association. He is also the recipient of the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for his book In My Father’s House and the Arthur Ross Award of the Council of Foreign Affairs for Cosmopolitanism as well as the Joseph B. and Toby Glitter Prize from Brandeis University in recognition of his contributions to racial, ethnic, and religious relations.

Prior to coming to NYU in 2014, Appiah taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and Duke universities and the University of Ghana. Appiah received both a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

Movshon, University Professor and Silver Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at NYU, was elected as a foreign member. He studies vision and visual perception and is best known for his path-breaking work on how the brain encodes and decodes visual information and on the mechanisms that put that information to use in the control of behavior. His work, which takes a multidisciplinary approach combining biology, behavior, and theory, specifically explores the way that the neural networks in the brain compute and represent the form and motion of objects and scenes, the way that these networks contribute to perceptual judgments and to the control of visually guided action, and the way that normal and abnormal visual experience influence their development in early life.

Movshon, also a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, has been at the university since 1975, joining the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor and becoming  founding director of NYU’s Center for Neural Science in 1987. Among his honors are the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics, the António Champalimaud Vision Award, the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society, and the Minerva Foundation’s “Golden Brain” Award.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Association for Psychological Science. Movshon received both a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

The Royal Society’s fellows, honorary fellows, and foreign members have included Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Onora O’Neill, and Dorothy Hodgkin. There are nearly 1,750 fellows, honorary fellows, and foreign members, including more than 70 Nobel Laureates.

The source of this news is from New York University

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