The MacArthur Foundation has just announced its 2012 class of 'MacArthur Fellows,'
better known as the 'genius prize winners.' The 23 newly-named fellows
, spanning disciplines from fiction writing to optical physics and from mandolin playing to neurosurgery, each receive a prize of $500,000 to use as they wish, no strings attached. We'd like to congratulate all the winners.
We're especially happy to see a multiple-time Science Friday guest among the newly-named 'geniuses.' Nancy Rabalais
, an expert on the health of the Gulf of Mexico, is described by the MacArthur Foundation as a "marine ecologist documenting the environmental and economic consequences of hypoxic zones in the Gulf of Mexico and informing strategies for restoring the degraded waters of the Gulf and the Mississippi River basin." She's been a guest on Science Friday talking about the ecological effects of the Gulf oil spill
, and looking at the seasonal potential for 'dead zones' in the Gulf
, spreading areas of oxygen-starved water.