January 8, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 7

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    Photos by Dan Dry

    Martha Nussbaum

    Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Law School, Philosophy and the Divinity School, has been awarded the 2009 A.SK prize by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung. The award pays tribute to social system reformers.

    Nussbaum earned the honor for her work on the foundations of social justice, which stresses the importance of using a capabilities-based approach to measure people’s quality of life. The traditional focus is on GNP per capita, which hides huge inequalities.

    Lawrence Grossman

    “Women, the rural poor and other subordinated groups are usually injured by policies focused on growth alone, since they rarely control the fruits of a nation’s general prosperity.” Nussbaum said. “My work on the ‘Capabilities Approach’ is meant to change the emphasis of the development process so that the first question asked is always, ‘What does this policy mean for the ability of people to live flourishing lives?’”

    Nussbaum, author of Women and Human Development and Frontiers of Justice, is also co-founder of the Development and Capability Association, with Amartya Sen of Harvard University.

    Nussbaum intends to give a substantial part of her €100,000 prize to the Law School, in particular to fund a new program of student summer internships in developing countries. She also plans on giving a significant part of it to the HDCA.

    Grossman honored for meteoritics work
    Next July, the Meteoritical Society will present the Leonard Medal to Lawrence Grossman, Professor in Geophysical Sciences and the College, for his research on how minerals condensed from hot gases in the early solar system. The Leonard Medal honors outstanding contributions to the science of meteoritics and closely allied fields. It is named for the societyís founding president, Frederick Leonard, a 1918 Chicago graduate. As a cosmochemist, Grossman conducts research on the origin of solid matter in the solar system. He aims his investigations toward learning how the sun and planets formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago.