Meet the 2014 MacArthur Fellows

  • Profile portrait of Danielle Bassett

    Danielle Bassett


    Applying mathematical approaches to the analysis and modeling of brain connectivity and enhancing our understanding of how these connections give rise to the functions the brain performs.

  • Profile portrait of Alison Bechdel

    Alison Bechdel

    Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist

    Expanding the expressive potential of the graphic form in intricate narratives that explore the complexities of familial relationships.

  • Profile portrait of Mary L. Bonauto

    Mary L. Bonauto

    Civil Rights Lawyer

    Breaking down legal barriers based on sexual orientation and gender identity to equal treatment under the law for all, and working to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and the protections, obligations, and dignity marriage affords.

  • Profile portrait of Tami Bond

    Tami Bond

    Environmental Engineer

    Unraveling the global effects of black carbon emissions, or soot, on climate and human health and playing a key role in understanding the complex relationship between energy and climate change.

  • Profile portrait of Steve Coleman

    Steve Coleman

    Jazz Composer and Saxophonist

    Infusing iconic spontaneous music idioms with the melodic, rhythmic, and structural components of an eclectic range of musical traditions to create a distinctive new sound.

  • Profile portrait of Sarah Deer

    Sarah Deer

    Legal Scholar and Advocate

    Developing policies and legislation that are empowering tribal authorities and reshaping the landscape of support and protection for Native American women at risk for domestic and sexual violence.

  • Profile portrait of Jennifer L. Eberhardt

    Jennifer L. Eberhardt

    Social Psychologist

    Investigating the subtle, complex, largely unconscious yet deeply ingrained ways that individuals racially code and categorize people and the far-reaching consequences of stereotypic associations between race and crime.

  • Profile portrait of Craig Gentry

    Craig Gentry

    Computer Scientist

    Fueling a revolution in cryptography and theoretical computer science through his breakthroughs in fully homomorphic encryption, leading to the possibility of more secure cloud computing.

  • Profile portrait of Terrance Hayes

    Terrance Hayes


    Reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal and subvert canonical forms.

  • Profile portrait of John Henneberger

    John Henneberger

    Housing Advocate

    Building collaborations among elected officials, developers, and community residents to preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing and ensure that all Americans have equal access to housing and federal disaster relief.

  • Profile portrait of Mark Hersam

    Mark Hersam

    Materials Scientist

    Drawing on techniques from a variety of fields in investigations of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of nanomaterials, offering new promise for applied uses.

  • Profile portrait of Samuel D. Hunter

    Samuel D. Hunter


    Crafting quietly captivating dramas that explore the human capacity for empathy and confront the socially isolating aspects of contemporary life across the American landscape.

  • Profile portrait of Pamela O. Long

    Pamela O. Long

    Historian of Science and Technology

    Challenging our understanding of the role of scholarship and craftsmanship in Renaissance societies and demonstrating how technologies are deeply enmeshed within the broader cultural fabric.

  • Profile portrait of Rick Lowe

    Rick Lowe

    Public Artist

    Reinventing community revitalization as an art form by transforming a long-neglected neighborhood in Houston into a visionary amalgam of arts venue, community support center, and historic preservation initiative.

  • Profile portrait of Jacob Lurie

    Jacob Lurie


    Creating a novel conceptual foundation for derived algebraic geometry (DAG) and rewriting large swathes of mathematics from a new point of view.

  • Profile portrait of Khaled Mattawa

    Khaled Mattawa

    Translator and Poet

    Rendering the beauty and meaning of contemporary Arab poetry accessible to an English reader and highlighting the invaluable role of literary translation in bridging cultural divides.

  • Profile portrait of Joshua Oppenheimer

    Joshua Oppenheimer

    Documentary Filmmaker

    Illuminating the social, psychological, and emotional dimensions of controversial subjects, such as state-sponsored violence, in works that challenge the modern aesthetic of contemporary documentary cinema in both intimacy of focus and visual construct.

  • Profile portrait of Ai-jen Poo

    Ai-jen Poo

    Labor Organizer

    Catalyzing a vibrant, worker-led movement for improved working conditions and labor standards for domestic or private-household workers.

  • Profile portrait of Jonathan Rapping

    Jonathan Rapping

    Criminal Lawyer

    Safeguarding the essential democratic right of every American to high-quality legal representation by transforming the practice of indigent defense in the South through training, mentorship, and community.

  • Profile portrait of Tara Zahra

    Tara Zahra

    Historian of Modern Europe

    Combining extensive archival research with broad sociohistorical analysis of notions of nation, family, and ethnicity to construct an integrative, transnational understanding of events in twentieth-century Europe.

  • Profile portrait of Yitang Zhang

    Yitang Zhang


    Tackling truly hard questions in number theory leading to the first finite bound on a gap between prime numbers and the best possible qualitative approximation of the twin prime conjecture.

21 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All: Meet the 2014 MacArthur Fellows thumbnail

21 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All: Meet the 2014 MacArthur Fellows

“Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life’s work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives...” Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows Program.
"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’" thumbnail

"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’"

Commentary by Cecilia Conrad originally published in the Washington Post
Mobility Among Highly Creative People: What Data About MacArthur Fellows Reveal thumbnail

Mobility Among Highly Creative People: What Data About MacArthur Fellows Reveal

Data compiled for the first time show that creativity blossoms everywhere; MacArthur Fellows were born in 64 countries, 47 states, and Washington, DC, and they are far more mobile than the general population.
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