MacArthur grants, also known as the MacArthur Genius Award, are awarded every year to people pursuing visionary ideas in the sciences and arts. They are given no-strings-attached $500,000 grants so they can complete their research without financial worries. There were eight awardees in the hard sciences.
Let's meet a few:
Kelly Benoit-Bird, Marine Biologist, uses acoustic technology to explore the previously invisible behavior of ocean creatures, learning the structure and behavior of food chains.
John Dabiri, Biophysicist, investigates the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion, which has profound implications for evolutionary adaptation, and related issues like blood flow in the human heart
Michal Lipson, Optical Physicist, works at the intersection of fundamental photonics and nanofabrication engineering to design silicon-based photonic circuits that are paving the way for practical optical computing devices.
Nergis Mavalvala, Quantum Astrophysicist, links optics, condensed matter, and quantum mechanics in research that enhances our ability to detect and quantify gravitational radiation.
Dawn Song, Computer Security Specialist, explores the deep interactions among software, hardware, and networks to increase the stability of computer systems vulnerable to remote attack or interference.
Carlos D, Bustamante, Population Geneticist, mines DNA sequence data to address funda-mental questions about the mechanisms of evolution, the complex origins of human genetic diversity, and patterns of population migration.
Marla Spivak, Entomologist, protects one of the world's most important pollinators--the honey bee--from decimation by disease while making important contributions to our understanding of bee biology.
See MacFound.org for more info.