Former Director Linda Elkins-Tanton elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Linda Elkins-Tanton and her fieldwork team pose in front of columnar basalt from the Siberian flood basalts on an island in the Angara river.
Linda Elkins-Tanton and her fieldwork team pose in front of columnar basalt from the Siberian flood basalts on an island in the Angara river.
Monday, May 10, 2021 


In April 2021, Linda Elkins-Tanton, former director of the Carnegie Science Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL), was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Being elected to the Academy is among the highest honors a scientist can achieve. Elkins-Taton joins 120 newly elected members—59 of whom are women, the most elected in a single year.

“The historic number of women elected this year reflects the critical contributions that they are making in many fields of science, as well as a concerted effort by our academy to recognize those contributions and the essential value of increasing diversity in our ranks,” said National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt in the recent NAS press release

Elkins-Tanton served as the EPL director from 2011 to 2014. Throughout her time at Carnegie, she continued her own research in the subject of volcanic provinces, which included field expeditions, as well as work on planetary formation processes. Now, is the managing director of the Interplanetary Initiative at Arizona State University. She is also the Principal Investigator of NASA's Psyche mission, which will launch in 2022 to explore the metallic asteroid of the same name. 

Richard Carlson, current Director of EPL, stated, “I am pleased to see this much-deserved recognition of Lindy’s many contributions to our understanding of the origin and evolution of planets. Her research contributions and her successful leadership roles provide clear and ample justification for election to the NAS, where she can apply her creative vision to advance the national scientific effort.”

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.



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