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Three faculty chosen as Guggenheim fellows

April 19, 2007

Three professors at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have received 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship Awards, which recognize artists, scholars and scientists based on distinguished past achievement and exceptional future promise.

The professors are among 189 individuals selected by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation of New York from a pool of nearly 2,800 applicants. The financial awards to this year's winners total $7.6 million.

Since 1925, the foundation has granted more than $256 million in fellowships to more than 16,250 individuals across a wide range of professions, including writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, choreographers, physical and biological scientists, social scientists and scholars in the humanities.

This year's UW–Madison winners are:

  • Warwick Anderson, Robert Turell Professor of Medical History, Population Health and History of Science, and chair of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics. Anderson will examine the transnational network of research on race mixing, or miscegenation, in the 20th century. His project reveals a global scientific debate on racial segregation, assimilation and absorption led by U.S.-based researchers. Adding these extensive studies of miscegenation to the ideas about human differences will further knowledge of the decline of race in science before World War II and provide, for the first time, a critical history of how biological scientists struggled and ultimately failed to classify and assess the racial characteristics of children of mixed descent.
  • David Baum, professor of botany and chair of the UW–Madison Evolution Coordinating Committee. Baum will use his award to work on a book on "tree thinking": using the metaphor of a tree of life to more accurately conceptualize and communicate evolutionary principles. He also plans to complete some research papers on the concepts of species and homology. "After 13 years of running a laboratory research program," he says, "I am really excited to have a little intellectual space to explore some of the central concepts of evolutionary biology."
  • Mary Louise Roberts, professor of history. Roberts will use her grant to explore the relationship that developed between the French civilian population and American GIs during the years 1944-46. To study this relationship, she examines archival sources both in the United States and France, many of which are open to researchers for the first time.