Top Quotes from the 2018 MacArthur Fellows

MacArthur Foundation
3 min readAug 26, 2019

As we get ready to announce the 2019 MacArthur Fellows on September 25th, we’re taking a look at top quotes from the 2018 MacArthur Fellows.

Check out each of the 2018 MacArthur Fellows below. You can also test your knowledge of the MacArthur Fellows by taking our Fellows Quiz, and browse all 1000+ MacArthur Fellows on our website.

“The interaction between sound organized into language and sound organized into music: that relationship fascinates me.”–Matthew Aucoin

“For me, being an artist is a way of thinking, and it’s a creative outlook that’s with me all the time.”–Julie Ault

“Every morning, it’s not an alarm clock that wakes me up, it’s purpose.”–William J. Barber

“Nature doesn’t know the distinction between chemistry, physics, math…the philosophy that I try to take to the work is not worrying so much about what discipline this belongs to.”–Clifford Brangwynne

“As much as we know of reservations as being troubled places, they’re also places where there’s an incredible kind of culture and communal love.”–Natalie Diaz

“If you know exactly what diagnosis and what type of cancer a person has, then you can really tailor and personalize treatments.”–Livia Eberlin

“This technology is making use of devices we already have in our pockets.”–Deborah Estrin

“I try to use economic theory and data to better understand the US healthcare sector, and the implications for healthcare policy.”–Amy Finkelstein

“My work is designed to give politicians and policymakers the information they need to make better decisions for better public health.”–Gregg Gonsalves

“It is as much our job to heal and inspire as it is to disrupt and provoke. It is our job to be the truth tellers of our time.”–Vijay Gupta

“What we’re trying to do is to say that refugees have rights, that they’re humans, and that they should have the legal aid that they need to enforce those rights.”–Becca Heller

“When people come to us, they’re facing the darkest moment of their lives. Someone they care deeply about is facing the possibility of being incarcerated.”–Raj Jayadev

“I make paintings that people perceive often as being very social or political, but for the most part they’re all very personal.”–Titus Kaphar

“I think representation is absolutely crucial, because if people don’t see themselves represented in the world, then they may not see themselves as part of that world.”–John Keene

“If you’ve never read my work before, then I would hope when you read it that you felt the way you did when you’re a kid, that you felt a sense of wonder.”–Kelly Link

“I like to create characters that come from real life. I try to listen to the everyday language of the working people, and I try to capture the poetry of our everydayness.”–Dominique Morisseau

“I want people to know what when they encounter my work that they should be comfortable with doubt and some confusion.”–Okwui Okpokwasili

“I want people to understand that my work is a good example of how you can use science…to expand the general public’s understanding of stigmatized people.”–Kristina Olson

“Technologies always have social impacts, and they also help to generate cultures, especially in the media age and in the age of the Internet.”–Lisa Parks

“My work is trying to find ways to understand what kinds of services people need, and how we can design them in a scalable and sustainable way.”–Rebecca Sandefur

“What we’ve been able to do is take a lot of great ideas from physics, but translate this into the language of mathematics.”–Allan Sly

“I use computer models to simulate planetary scale collisions to understand mysteries about the origin of the Earth and other planets.”–Sarah Stewart

“For me, filmmaking is a space of emotional truth to shift the way that people think about others.”–Wu Tsang

“It really is an epiphany that everything we perceive and think about is due to electrical activity in neurons in the brain.”–Doris Tsao

“I think part of the job of the journalist and what the kind of journalism I want to do is to expose those kinds of difficult truths so that people can try to confront them and deal with them.”–Ken Ward Jr.



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