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Oxford academics elected to American Academy

Two senior Oxford academics have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

John Broome, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy, and Peter Edwards, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Fellow of St Catherine's College, have been elected among the class of 2014 as Foreign Honorary Members.

One of America's most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading centre for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts and education.

John Broome and Peter EdwardsProfessors John Broome (left) and Peter Edwards

Professor Broome is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as well as a Foreign Member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences. His most recent books are Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World and Rationality Through Reasoning.

He said: 'This is a signal honour, which came as an exciting surprise. I have not recently spent much time in the US, so it particularly pleases me to find that my American colleagues think well of my work. And since I shall be there more regularly in the future, it feels like a special welcome. I hope to be able to strengthen the already close ties in philosophy between Britain and the US.'

Professor Edwards is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, and Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2003 he was awarded the Royal Society's Hughes Medal and in 2012 gave its Bakerian Lecture. He said: 'This really is a dream for me to receive such a tremendous honour. I am absolutely delighted and feel truly privileged to be elected to the Academy.'

Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors, said: 'It is a privilege to honour these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments. The knowledge and expertise of our members give the Academy a unique capacity – and responsibility – to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.'

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading 'thinkers and doers' from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King Jr in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on 11 October 2014 at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.