“In the midst of civil unrest, a global pandemic, natural disasters, and conflagrations, this group of 21 exceptionally creative individuals offers a moment for celebration. They are asking critical questions, developing innovative technologies and public policies, enriching our understanding of the human condition, and producing works of art that provoke and inspire us.”
Managing Director, MacArthur Fellows
2020 MacArthur Fellows
Developing robust methods of statistical inference to address key challenges in economics and social science.
Shaping discourse on highly topical issues at the confluence of race, gender, education, and digital technology for broad audiences.
Developing new technologies for converting renewable, organic materials into chemicals used in products such as plastics, rubber, and detergents.
Investigating the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary processes driving host-pathogen interactions.
Devising maps of network connectivity in individual brains that advance our understanding of how distinct regions communicate and develop in both typical and atypical contexts.
Creating space for Indigenous artists, stories, and experiences in mainstream theater and countering misrepresentation of Native American perspectives in broader society.
Bringing attention to failing water and waste sanitation infrastructure in rural areas and its role in perpetuating health and socioeconomic disparities.
Investigating the ways in which labor, identity, and human rights are transformed by the digital economy.
Pushing against the conventions of epic fantasy and science fiction genres while exploring deeply human questions about structural racism, environmental crises, and familial relationships.
Generating interdisciplinary modes of artistic expression for stories, emotions, memories, and identities that traditional media do not accommodate.
Examining the cellular processes that guide mammalian fertilization and opening new avenues for contraception and treatment of infertility.
Reforming laws and developing policy solutions addressing mechanisms by which Black and other disadvantaged American families have been deprived of their land, homes, and real estate wealth.
Revealing how narratives of racial difference that were constructed and applied to immigrant groups a century ago continue to shape national policy today.
Creating new conceptual spaces to accommodate emerging forms of Black aesthetics, cultural production, and social life.
Exploring culturally constructed notions of language, memory, and gender from a transnational perspective.
Using manifold powers of interpretation to infuse jazz standards and original compositions with a vibrant, global, Black, feminist sensibility.
Advancing our understanding of how many-particle quantum systems behave and connecting phenomena observed in the laboratory to a range of other areas of physics.
Investigating synthesis of novel molecules with therapeutic properties and expediting discovery of new antibiotics.
Challenging long-held assumptions about the forces that shape urban poverty and violence and bringing to light the lived reality of those who experience it.
Creating intimate character studies that examine the impact of authoritarian governance, corruption, and lack of accountability on the lives of individuals.
Redefining children’s and young adult literature to encompass more complex issues and reflect the lives of Black children, teenagers, and families.