Two researchers elected fellows of American Academy of Arts Sciences

Two of Florida State University’s most distinguished researchers — Roy F. Baumeister and Joseph Travis —have been elected as fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining 195 other fellows and foreign honorary members in the Class of 2015.

The American Academy includes some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts.

“Professors Joe Travis and Roy Baumeister will be part of an elite group of scholars known for scholarship that has profound and lasting impacts in their fields of study,” said Janet Kistner, FSU interim vice president of faculty development and advancement. “Through their research, they have advanced our understanding of some of the world’s most pressing concerns.Through their teaching and mentorship, they are shaping the next generation of scientists. We are very pleased and honored to have professors of their caliber and accomplishments on the faculty of FSU.”

Roy Baumeister, the Francis Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology at Florida State.
Roy Baumeister, the Francis Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology at Florida State.

Baumeister, the Francis Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology, is a widely decorated researcher and was recently named one of the top 30 psychologists of the modern era by a journal of the American Psychological Association.

A Florida State faculty member since 2003, Baumeister has written and edited a combined 31 books, plus numerous journal articles on the subjects of willpower, social networks and self identity. His 2011 book with journalist John Tierney, “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” became a New York Times bestseller.

Baumeister received a lifetime achievement award from the Association for Psychological Science in 2013, and recently was selected for the Humboldt Research Award, a major international honor from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

“It is both inspiring and humbling to be inducted into the academy, which traces its history to founding members that include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin,” Baumeister said. “These moments also remind me how grateful I am for all the research opportunities I have had at Florida State, especially including the many bright and hard-working students with whom I have been able to conduct and publish research.”

Joseph Travis, Travis, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science at Florida State.
Joseph Travis, Travis, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science at Florida State.

Travis, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science, is a notable researcher in the field of ecological genetics, studying how plants and animals adapt to their environments. He joined the FSU faculty in 1980 and rose through the ranks, eventually serving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005 to 2011 before returning full-time to his research.

In 2011, Travis won the Edward O. Wilson Award from the American Society of Naturalists in recognition of his landmark empirical research on natural systems. Travis has written or co-written more than 150 articles in scientific journals. In 2009, Harvard University Press published “Evolution: The First Four Billion Years,” a book Travis co-wrote and co-edited with philosopher Michael Ruse, the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor at FSU.

Named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1991,Travis has held a number of distinguished visitor positions and served as president of the American Institute of Biological Science (2010, 2013-2014) and the American Society of Naturalists (2005).

“This is a great honor that is also a great surprise,” Travis said.“I am really fortunate to be here at Florida State, where I have had wonderful colleagues, friends and students to inspire me and help me become a better scholar than I would have been otherwise.”

Baumeister and Travis join Alan Marshall (2013), Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professorof Chemistry, and Ellen Zwilich (2004), Francis Eppes Distinguished Professor of Composition, as Florida State’s active members of the American Academy.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for two of our most prominent researchers,” said Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander. “Roy and Joe have distinguished themselves among their colleagues as dedicated researchers who are always striving to take science and discovery to the next level.”

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. The membershipof 4,600 fellows and 600 foreign honorary memberscontribute to academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts, and education.

Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 10, 2015, in Cambridge, Mass. The complete list of the new members is located at