The National Academy of
Sociologist Alejandro Portes is among the 13 individuals honored by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for their extraordinary achievements in the areas of biology, chemistry, ecology, mathematics, oceanography, paleontology, psychology, solar physics, and social sciences. Achievements recognized by the NAS included pioneering studies of the magnetized solar wind plasma; research on the first terrestrial vertebrates and the evolutionary water-to-land transition; development of technologies that led to the production of the first transgenic crops; and experiments on the role of visual expertise in recognition.
Alejandro Portes, the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, will be honored with the 2008 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewinga prize of $10,000 awarded annually for excellence in scientific reviewing within the past 10 years. This particular prize rotates among different disciplines, but the 2008 prize is awarded for the social and political sciences. Portes was selected for contributions to the understanding of immigrant and transnational communities through penetrating reviews in the areas of immigration, education, globalization, and social capital. The award is supported by Annual Reviews Inc., the Institute for Scientific Information, and The Scientist and has been presented since 1979.
Until very recently, Portes was the Director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University. In 2005, he was appointed to the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, of which he is a member. His primary research interest is on how the children of immigrants adapt to the United States and what ties they maintain with their homelands. With Rubén Rumbaut, he received the 2002 ASA Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award for their book, titled Legacies: The Story of The Immigrant Second Generation.
The award ceremony will be held on April 27 in Washington, DC. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Since 1863, the National Academy of Sciences has served to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.