Go to Columbia Web

Record Banner
VOL. 23, NO. 2September 12, 1997

Six Faculty Are Elected to Academy

Columbia Is Among the Nation's Leaders

By Suzanne Trimel

Six Columbia faculty members have been elected Fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 1997, the third highest total of any university this year.

  The new members, to be inducted Sept. 27 in Cambridge, Mass., are: John C. Coffee Jr., Adolf Berle Professor of Law; Antoine Compagnon, Blanche W. Knopf Professor of French and Comparative Literature; George W. Flynn, Higgins Professor of Chemistry; David Freedberg, professor of art history; Charles Langmuir, Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; and Richard Nelson, Henry R. Luce Professor of International Political Economy.

  With the new fellows, Columbia's faculty membership in the Academy reaches 95. Founded in 1780 by John Adams, the Academy recognizes distinguished contributions to science, the humanities, public affairs and the arts. The group elected 151 new Fellows this year. The Academy's 4,000 Fellows include 160 Nobel laureates and 64 Pulitzer Prize winners.

  Columbia was one of six universities nationwide that had six or more faculty members elected to the Academy. Princeton and the University of Chicago also had six faculty each, Harvard and Stanford had nine new members each and U.C.-Berkeley had 10.

  Coffee is one of the nation's leading experts on securities regulations and "white collar" criminal law, in addition to being a specialist on corporate law. He has taught at Columbia since 1980.

  Compagnon, born in Brussels and a French citizen, has written novels and literary criticism, including studies of Proust and Baudelaire. An expert on 16th and 19th century French literature, he taught in France and Britain before joining the Columbia faculty in 1985.

  Flynn pioneered laser techniques to understand matter at the molecular level. A Columbia faculty member since 1967, his research has primarily focused on the application of laser devices to the study of molecular problems of chemical interest. He has developed a powerful, high-resolution spectroscopic technique and infrared diode laser absorption probe to investigate collisions between hot atoms and small molecules.

  Freedberg has focused his research on Dutch and Flemish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries. He has written nine books, including studies of Peter Paul Rubens and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1986.

  Langmuir is engaged in the study of the geological petrology and geochemistry of young volcanic rocks. His field and laboratory studies have focused on submarine and subserial rocks from throughout the world to better understand the internal structure and circulation of the solid Earth. His current field areas include the East Pacific Rise, the mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Indian Ocean ridges, the Mexican volcanic belt, the Cascades and the Aleutian islands arc. He has taught at Columbia since 1981

  Nelson is an economist who directs the Columbia Public Policy Consortium, a University-wide program that brings together faculty and doctoral-level students across disciplines who are engaged in public policy research. He has studied productivity growth, competition and U.S. competitiveness in the global economy.