Two faculty members from the University of Pennsylvania have been elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society (APS). They are Paul Offit and Dorothy Roberts.
Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743 for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge,” APS is the oldest learned society in the United States, continuing its founder’s spirit of inquiry by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas. Election to the APS recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in all fields.
Paul Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Chair of Vaccinology in the Department of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
An internationally recognized expert in virology and immunology, Offit was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a member of the Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine, and co-editor of the foremost vaccine text, “Vaccines.” He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine.
Dorothy Roberts is a Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor with appointments in the School of Arts & Sciences and Penn Carey Law. She is the George A. Weiss Professor of Law & Sociology, the Raymond Pace & Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and professor of Africana Studies. She is also the founding director of the Program on Race, Science, and Society.
An acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law, Roberts’ research catalogues the consequences of racial inequities for women, children, families, and communities and counters scientific tenets about racial identity. Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent social justice issues in policing, family regulation, science, medicine, and bioethics.
The American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. It has played a role in American cultural and intellectual life for more than 250 years.