Two CU-Boulder Faculty Elected To American Academy Of Arts And Sciences

Published: April 28, 2008

Two University of Colorado at Boulder faculty members have joined such luminaries as U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Academy Award-winning filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen and blues guitarist B.B. King in the 2008 class of fellows elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The two elected CU-Boulder faculty members are former University of Colorado Museum Director and anthropology Emeritus Professor Linda Cordell and chemistry and biochemistry department Professor James Hynes. Cordell and Hynes are among 212 scholars, scientists and artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders from 20 states and 15 countries elected to the academy in 2008.

There are now 20 active or retired CU-Boulder faculty members who have been elected to the academy.

"The academy honors excellence by electing to membership remarkable men and women who have made preeminent contributions to their fields and to the world," said academy President Emilio Bizzi in a statement. "We are pleased to welcome into the academy these new members to help advance our founders' goal of cherishing knowledge and shaping the future."

Cordell, whose research has focused primarily on the archaeology of Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest, joined CU-Boulder in 1994 as director of the CU Museum and a CU-Boulder professor of anthropology. She has studied agricultural and settlement strategies of ancestral Pueblos of New Mexico, including how large villages supported themselves during unpredictable precipitation cycles.

Cordell has authored a number of books and scientific papers during her career. She retired from CU-Boulder in 2006.

Hynes is well known in his field for contributions to the theory of chemical reaction rates and mechanisms, and of vibrational dynamics in solution. 

He also is known for research on the heterogeneous chemical reactions important in stratospheric ozone depletion. Hynes was honored with the Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry in 2004, the largest award in the field carrying a stipend of $10,000.

Hynes also is research director in the department of chemistry at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, an arm of France's National Center for Scientific Research. 

An independent policy research center, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has a diverse membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions giving it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current studies focus on science, technology and global security, as well as social policy, humanities culture and education.

Founded in 1780 by a group of patriots and scholars led by John Adams, John Hancock and James Bowdoin, the academy has elected some of the most influential thinkers from each generation, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. The current membership includes more than 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

For more information on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences visit