John Irwin and Peter Olson, faculty members of the
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, are among the 196
fellows elected to the 225th class of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences. The academy made its announcement
Irwin is a professor of poetry in the Writing Seminars, and Olson is a
professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary
"Being inducted into the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences is the highest recognition a scholar can receive
in this country," said Daniel Weiss, James B. Knapp Dean of
the Krieger School and a professor in its History of Art
Department. "This recognition honors their individual
achievements, but by extension it is a testament to the
strength of our school."
Irwin is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and
chair of the Writing program in the Krieger School's
Advanced Academic Programs. He is the author of Doubling
and Incest/Repetition and Revenge, The Heisenberg
Variations, American Hieroglyphics and The Mystery to a
Solution: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story.
He was formerly editor of The Georgia Review and is
presently general editor of the Johns Hopkins University
Press Fiction and Poetry Series. A recipient of a
Guggenheim Fellowship in 1991, he won the Christian Gauss
Prize in 1994 and the Scaglione Prize in 1994 for The
Mystery to a Solution.
The focus of Olson's research is on understanding
the dynamics of Earth's interior, including
both the mantle and the core. He is especially interested
in how these two major parts interact to produce plate
tectonics, deep mantle plumes and the geomagnetic field. He
combines theory, numerical models and laboratory fluid
dynamics models to interpret global geophysical data
pertaining to the deep interior.
Olson is currently collaborating with graduate
students and postdoctoral fellows to study the dynamics of
Earth's core, particularly the magnetohydrodynamic
processes by which the geomagnetic field is generated in
the fluid outer core and modified by the solid inner core
and the lower mantle.
Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and
elected to the academy by current members. A broad-based
membership of scholars and practitioners from mathematics,
physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities
and the arts, public affairs and business allows the
academy to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary
studies and public policy research.
Irwin and Olson will be inducted on Oct. 8 in
Cambridge, Mass., alongside other fellows including
actor/director Sidney Poitier, choreographers Mark Morris
and Judith Jamison, journalist Tom Brokaw, Google
co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, architect/sculptor
Maya Lin, dramatist Horton Foote, playwright Tony Kushner,
novelist Alison Lurie and cartoonist Art Spiegelman.