Winners of the MacArthur Foundations genius grant for 2015 have been announced. The grant pays artists, authors, scientists, and other types of geniuses $625,000 annually for five years with no strings attached. Below you can read up on each of the winners and check out media related to their work.
Patrick Awuah is an educational entrepreneur in Accra, Ghana at Ashesi University College.
Kartik Chandrian is an environmental engineer at Columbia University in New York City.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a journalist at the Atlantic in Washington, D.C. You can read his articles at the Atlantic here. His celebrated book-length works include Between the World and Me and The Beautiful Struggle.
Gary Cohen is an environmental health advocate living in Reston, Virginia, and working at Healthcare Without Harm, an international coalition working to transform the health sector worldwide, promoting environmental health and justice.
Matthew Desmond is an urban sociologist at Harvard known for his work revealing the impact of eviction on the lives of the urban poor and its role in perpetuating racial and economic inequality.
William Dichtel is a chemist at Cornell University.
Michelle Dorrance is a tap dancer and choreographer living in New York, teaching and doing choreography at her own dance studio, Dorrance Dance.
LaToya Ruby Frazier is a photographer and video-artist at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ben Lerner is a writer at Brooklyn College. Here’s a great interview with Mr. Lerner over at the Believer. He wrote a novel in 2012 called 10:04. He’s got a few poems over at the Poetry Foundation as well.
Mimi Lien is a set-designer working in New York City.
Li-Manuel Miranda is a playwright, composer, and performer living and working in New York City. He writes musicals. Recently did a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton.
Dimitri Nakassis is classicist scholar teaching at the University of Toronto.
John Novembre computational biologist at the University of Chicago.
Christopher Ré is a computer scientist at Stanford. His project DeepDive is a new type of system to extract value from dark data.
Marina Rustow is a historian at Princeton in department of Near-Eastern study. She reads medieval documents, especially sources from the Cairo Geniza, a cache of more than 300,000 folio pages preserved in an Egyptian synagogue. Her first book, Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate, asked what made Jews vulnerable to the charge of heresy in some circumstances and exempt from it in others.
Juan Salgado is a community leader working with Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago.
Beth Stevens is neuroscientist at Harvard. Here’s a talk that Beth gave at the Broad Institute.
Lorenz Studer stem cell biologist working with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Alex Truesdell is an adaptive designer and fabricator working at Adaptive Design Association, Inc. in New York City. She works to empower the differently abled with customized, adaptively designed solutions.
Basil Twist is a puppetry artist and director living and working in New York City. Check out this video profile of Basil by the New Yorker.
Ellen Bryan Voigt is a poet in Cabot, Vermont. Here are some of her poems over at the Poetry Foundation.
Heidi Williams is an economist at MIT.
Peidong Yang is an Inorganic Chemist at the University of California, Berkeley.
[The featured image for this article is a painting called Brooklyn Biergarten II by Nicole Eisenman. Courtesy of the New York Times.]