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CAS economist Kotlikoff elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Laurence Kotlikoff. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

This story was published in the BU Bridge on April 29, 2005.

Laurence Kotlikoff, a CAS professor of economics and department chairman, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among a 2005 class of 213 new academy fellows and foreign honorary members that includes leaders in scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs.

An international learned society that promotes the study of emerging problems in science, global security, social policy, education, and the humanities, the academy selects fellows “through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large,” says Patricia Meyer Spacks, academy president. In addition to Kotlikoff, 18 other BU faculty members are academy fellows.

“I’m delighted and honored by my election to the academy,” Kotlikoff says. “So is my mother.”

A widely published author, Kotlikoff in recent years has been sounding the alarm about the coming crisis in Social Security and Medicare funding. He’s written extensively about the disaster that shortfalls in Social Security could precipitate, most recently in his 2004 book The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need To Know About America’s Economic Future, coauthored with Scott Burns, which has proven a lightning rod for debate among politicians and scholars. He also has investigated such issues as generational accounting, tax structure, pensions, health-care reforms, and personal finance.

In addition to serving as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Harvard Institute for International Development, Kotlikoff has provided expert testimony on numerous occasions to congressional committees.

Academy fellows are nominated and elected by current members, who will welcome the 225th class at the annual induction ceremony at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., on October 8.

This year’s inductees include Nobel Prize–winning physicist Eric Cornell, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, sculptor and painter Jeff Koons, actor and director Sidney Poitier, Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Maya Lin, an architect, sculptor, and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.