Archive for April, 2010

Bienenstock named to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences

April 30th, 2010

bienwmmwOn March 31,  ARTHUR BIENENSTOCK, professor emeritus in the Department of Applied Physics and currently special assistant to the president for federal research policy, and director of the Wallenberg Research Link/Swedish Contact Center here at Stanford, received the following fax from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences:

Dear Professor Bienenstock,

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, which was founded in 1919, is a learned society composed of elected members active in the technological and economic sciences or in areas where these are applied.  The task of the Academy is to, for the benefit of society, promote the engineer and economic sciences and the advancement of business and industry.

Persons who are permanent residents in a country other than Sweden who have performed outstanding work in the Academy’s field of activities, and in the Academy’s spirit “for the benefit of society,” and who have envinced a particular interest in developing contacts with Swedish research and the Swedish industrial and business community may be appointed foreign members.

We have the great pleasure to inform you that the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) at its General Meeting on March 24, 2010, elected you Foreign Member of the Academy. We wish you most welcome to our Academy and we hope that mutual benefit shall be gained through your membership.
Yours sincerely,

Per Odling, Professor, PhD, Docent
Secretary to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA)

Advisory council of the Center for the American West welcomes new members

April 29th, 2010

The Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West is meeting Friday and will welcome WILLIAM K. REILLY and TIMOTHY WIRTH as new members.

Reilly is a founding partner of Aqua International Partners, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies engaged in water and renewable energy, and a senior adviser to TPG, an international investment partnership. Reilly served as the first Payne Visiting Professor at Stanford (1993-1994), administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1993), president of the World Wildlife Fund (1985-1989), president of the Conservation Foundation (1973-1989), and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth (1972-1973). He is a director of the Packard Foundation, the American Academy in Rome and the National Geographic Society.

Wirth is the president of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund. He began his political career as a White House Fellow under President Lyndon Johnson and was deputy assistant secretary for education in the Nixon administration. Wirth represented Denver suburbs in Congress from 1975 to 1987 and was elected in 1986 to the U.S. Senate, where he focused on environmental issues, particularly global climate change and population stabilization. Wirth served in the U.S. Department of State as the first undersecretary for global affairs from 1993 to 1997.


David Kennedy elected co-chair of Pulitzer board

April 28th, 2010

History Professor DAVID KENNEDY has been elected co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, shares the post with AMANDA BENNETT, an executive editor for Bloomberg News who is noted for her leadership in investigative journalism. Kennedy has served on the Pulitzer Board since 2002 – two years after he won a Pulitzer Prize for Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Kennedy, who joined the Stanford faculty in 1967, is also a co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

Stanford Video wins two TELLY Awards

April 26th, 2010

Stanford Video has been awarded two bronze 2010 TELLY Awards, which honor the best in television commercials and programs, video and film production, and online film and video. In the “Institutional/Corporate” category, the Stanford Video group won for Leadership, a commercial featuring Cardinal Women’s Basketball guard ROSALYN GOLD-ONWUDE. In the “Education” category, Discovery Science: Personalized Genomic Medicine,a piece done for The Stanford Challenge, also took a bronze. The film features RUSS ALTMAN, chair of the Department of Bioengineering, and STEPHEN QUAKE, co-chair of the department. You can watch both winners on the Stanford Video website.

Toby to the Vikings

April 23rd, 2010

Cardinal football star and Heisman Trophy runner-up TOBY GERHART was drafted by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings on Friday. Gerhart was the 51st draft choice overall. The Vikings grabbed Gerhart with their second, 2nd-round pick. He joins basketball star JAYNE APPEL in professional sports. Appel was recently drafted by the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA. Appel was selected number 5 overall in the draft.

Clay Carson: Living in the Movement

April 23rd, 2010

From left: Cotton, Carson, Young and Clarence Jones, scholar-in-residence at the King Institute

It’s been a heady week for CLAYBORNE CARSON, founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Last weekend Carson was in Raleigh, N.C, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, where such civil rights heavyweights as CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS and HARRY BELAFONTE gathered (and in the latter’s case sang publicly for the first time in years).
 After landing at SFO Sunday afternoon, Carson headed straight to a luncheon hosted by the Peninsula Bay Chapter of Links, Incorporated, where the organization of professional women of color honored Carson for his work in preserving King’s legacy. 
One would think some well-deserved rest would be in order, but Carson was going home to greet both his wife, Susan, and DOROTHY COTTON, another civil rights stalwart. Cotton, who worked directly with King as the education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is well known for leading freedom songs. Cotton is working on her memoir with the help of Susan Carson, former managing editor at the King Institute. On Tuesday, Cotton also shared her experiences and insights with students in Carson’s class The Modern African American Freedom Struggle.
Then on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Carson spent time with Andrew Young, movement colleague and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. During a visit to the institute’s offices, Young, on campus for a meeting of the United Nations Foundation board, told the staff that the work they are doing is “laying a foundation for generations unborn.” 
While inside the institute with Young, Carson got a parking ticket, which Young graciously autographed. “The visit was worth much more!” he wrote.

Stanford team takes National Quiz Bowl

April 23rd, 2010
From left: Kristiaan De Greve, Brian Linquist and Arnav Moudgil. Not pictured: Andrew Yaphe. (Image: Julie Karceski.)

From left: Kristiaan De Greve, Brian Lindquist and Arnav Moudgil. Not pictured: Andrew Yaphe. (Image: Julie Karceski.)

A team of Stanford undergraduate and graduate students won a Quiz Bowl tournament held at the University of Maryland April 17-18. Quiz Bowl is an academic, general knowledge competition similar to Jeopardy! but played between teams of four. Stanford’s team included senior ARNAV MOUDGIL; graduate students BRIAN LINDQUIST and KRISTIAAN DE GREVE; and law student ANDREW YAPHE. Twenty-eight teams from across the country competed in last weekend’s competition.
For all the details, read the story in SLAC Today.

President Hennessy named among America’s favorite bosses

April 22nd, 2010

Stanford President JOHN HENNESSY is featured as one of “America’s Favorite Bosses” on In recent rankings, a website that posts salaries as well as employee reviews of their companies and bosses, Hennessy came in second, beating out Apple’s Steve Jobs (#3), Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein (#4), Google’s Eric Schmidt (#5) and Southwest Airlines’ Gary Kelly (#9). The very top spot went to Ken Powell, CEO of General Mills. The list is based on reviews voluntarily posted by employees who answer the question: “Do you approve of the way this person is handling the job of leading this company?” Hennessy got the nod from 97 percent of those who answered.

Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2010

(Photo from The Atlas of Global Conservation, University of California Press, 2010)

In honor of Earth Day, the Nature Conservancy is celebrating with the release of The Atlas of Global Conservation, a new book that goes beyond the traditional atlas, providing an in-depth picture of the Earth’s animals, plants and habitats. The story is largely told through maps — you can get a preview of them here.

“This is not about extrapolating trends toward some distant doom-and-gloom scenario. This is about a complicated system of interacting species, changing climates, altered biogeochemical processes and rapidly evolving human cultures shifting toward an entirely different global reality,” PAUL EHRLICH, the Bing Professor of Population Studies and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, writes in the book’s foreword. “It is now widely accepted that our species could be entraining an extinction event as severe as the one 65 million years ago that wiped out all of the dinosaurs except for the birds.”

Other Stanford-affiliated contributors to the atlas are GRETCHEN DAILY, the Bing Professor in Environmental Science, senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and co-director of the Natural Capital Project; MARILYN CORNELIUS, a doctoral student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER); CHARLES KATZ, a member of the board of advisers for the Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences; JON CHRISTENSEN, executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West; and BRIAN SHILLINGLAW, who holds a master’s degree from E-IPER and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Read more about the The Atlas of Global Conservation in The Book Haven.

Cynthia Haven

A big month for Shelley Fisher Fishkin and Mark Twain

April 21st, 2010

dish_shelleyAt 4 p.m. this afternoon at the Stanford Bookstore, SHELLEY FISHER FISHKIN will share excerpts from The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works. The anthology includes writings by George Orwell, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, T.S. Eliot, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, William Dean Howells, William James, Helen Keller, Ursula LeGuin, Norman Mailer, Somerset Maugham, H.L. Mencken, Barack Obama, Eugene O’Neill, Franklin Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, Gore Vidal, Richard Wright and others.

As the literary world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death as well as the 175th year of his birth, Fishkin, professor in the Department of English who has written dozens of books on Twain, has been a most sought-after source of Twain expertise.
This week alone, she has been quoted in the Boston Globe, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and USA Today. She’s also featured in a recent segment on Minnesota Public Radio.
For more on what Fishkin has been up to of late, visit The Book Haven.

—Cynthia Haven