Public Release: 

Carnegie's Paul Silver elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Carnegie Institution for Science


IMAGE: Paul Silver of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. view more

Credit: Carnegie Institution of Washington

Washington, DC - Paul Silver, a geophysicist at Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, DC, was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Friday, April 27. Out of more than 1,100 nominees, 227 were elected as Fellows.

Silver's research focuses on how earthquakes are triggered, and how they interact with each other. He believes that the slow redistribution of stress and strain caused by earthquakes is a key to understanding patterns of change in the Earth's crust. Silver also uses seismic waves to study the anisotropy, or direction-dependence, of wave speeds in the Earth's mantle. Patterns of anisotropy provide clues to mantle convection, the history of movement of the tectonic plates, and the transmission of stresses in the Earth.

"Through his innovative research, Paul Silver has opened a window into the inner workings of our tumultuous home planet," said Carnegie president Richard A. Meserve. "I speak for the entire institution when I offer him congratulations on achieving this milestone in an outstanding career. His election is much deserved and brings honor to the Carnegie Institution."

Along with Silver, this year's new Fellows include former Vice President Al Gore, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The new members will be formally inducted on October 6 at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.


Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected the most influential leaders from each generation as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members. Current members include more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. The Academy serves as an independent policy research center focusing on science and global security, social policy, the humanities and culture, and education.

For a full list of this year's newly elected Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members, see:

The Carnegie Institution of Washington (, a private nonprofit organization, has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research since 1902. It has six research departments: the Geophysical Laboratory and the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, both located in Washington, D.C.; The Observatories, in Pasadena, California, and Chile; the Department of Plant Biology and the Department of Global Ecology, in Stanford, California; and the Department of Embryology, in Baltimore, Maryland.

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