Meet the 2022 MacArthur Fellows

MacArthur Foundation
3 min readOct 12, 2022

Today, we announced the 2022 MacArthur Fellows: 25 creative people who are pushing the boundaries of their fields and challenging us to imagine new possibilities.

The MacArthur Fellowship is an $800,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.

Learn more about this class of Fellows and check out what some of them had to say about their work below:

“I admire works that say and mean nothing in particular. What sets them apart? They tend to manifest a desperate immanence, as if what is expressed is not good enough, but will have to do. They seize time the way a beat possesses a song, to evoke the vertiginous feeling of seeing something emerge by being made and unmade at the same instant.” — Paul Chan, Artist

“Commonsense is the dark matter of intelligence. We know it’s there, and we all rely on it effortlessly, yet it has been notoriously hard to pin down, especially for machines.” — Yejin Choi, Computer Scientist

“By designing and creating chemical systems, we can uncover new science in areas ranging from quantum information science to magnetism.” — Danna Freedman, Synthetic Inorganic Chemist

“I believe that participatory creative practices as tools of dialogue are generative and an important part of the lexicon of social justice movements.” — Martha Gonzalez, Musician, Scholar, Artist/Activist

“I seek to show humanity a path for itself through a lens of space environmentalism and sustainability.” — Moriba Jah, Astrodynamicist

“It is nearly impossible to avoid disposable plastic in the majority of our current world. That’s what I hope my work and open data can help to change — so communities can choose what is best for their context, making the power of choice inclusive and accessible to all.” — Jenna Jambeck, Environmental Engineer

“As a historian, I am forced to reckon with a fundamental principle: the stories we tell about war affect if and how we can imagine a radical peace.” — Monica Kim, Historian

“I’m a Potawatomi scientist and a storyteller, working to create a respectful symbiosis between Indigenous and western ecological knowledges for care of lands and cultures. Biodiversity loss and the climate crisis make it clear that it’s not only the land that is broken, but our relationship to land. Both are in need of healing — and both science and stories can be part of that cultural shift from exploitation to reciprocity.” — Robin Wall Kimmerer, Plant Ecologist, Educator, and Writer

“I think a lot about who owns our right to heal. We live in a hierarchy of health. Some people get medicine first, and some don’t get it at all. Our ability to heal should not depend on our ability to pay or where we live.” — Priti Krishtel, Health Justice Lawyer

“Revisiting and rearranging words didn’t only require vocabulary; it required will, and maybe courage. Revised word patterns were revised thought patterns. Revised thought patterns shaped memory.” — Kiese Laymon, Writer

“Our struggle is about making a world in which everyone belongs, even the people we’ve learned to be afraid of.” — Reuben Jonathan Miller, Sociologist, Criminologist, and Social Worker

“It’s not that I’m never scared; I’ve just learned never to let my fears stop me from becoming more than what’s happened to me. Activism has been the art of making my life matter.” — Loretta Ross, Reproductive Justice and Human Rights Advocate

“Our goal is ambitious: we seek to democratize access to data describing the world’s changing population by making them easily usable, interoperable, and freely available.” — Steven Ruggles, Historical Demographer

“Numbers and their properties are one of the most ancient and universal interests of humanity. Yet numbers hold more secrets that we are still working to reveal. Unlocking these mysteries requires new perspectives and often happens when we discover surprising connections between different parts of mathematics.” — Melanie Matchett Wood, Mathematician



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