UCSB physics professor Guenter Ahlers has been elected a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ahlers, who joined the faculty in 1979, is a physicist specializing in experimental condensed matter. The American Academy chose 178 new American Fellows and 24 new Foreign Honorary Members this year in recognition of their achievements in scholarship, business, the arts and public affairs.

Ahlers is known for many contributions to his field, including numerous articles and publications, and said he felt honored, delighted and humbled by his election.

“Election to this Academy is particularly meaningful because of the breadth of its membership, which covers nearly all fields of intellectual endeavor, and because of the large scope of its activities, which addresses critical social as well as scientific issues,” Ahlers said in a statement.

In a press release, American Academy President Patricia Meyer Spacks said the American Academy is the nation’s oldest and most illustrious learned society, and called election to the Academy one of the highest honors in the United States.

The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin and John Hancock to cultivate arts and sciences, “which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” Over the past 220 years, the academy has elected the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, with past fellows including George Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Albert Einstein.
– Nexus Staff Report