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Penn faculty professor Paul Offit and professor Dorothy Roberts are newly elected members to the American Philosophical Society (Photo from Penn Today).

Perelman School of Medicine professor Paul Offit and Penn Integrates Knowledge professor Dorothy Roberts were elected into the American Philosophical Society on May 15. 

The new members, described by the American Philosophical Society as “top scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines,” were grouped into five separate classes based on their areas of scholarship. Offit was elected into Class 2: Biological Sciences of the Society. Roberts was elected into Class 5: The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public and Private Affairs.  

Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Chair of Vaccinology and professor of pediatrics at the Medical School. He is also the founder and co-director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as an attending physician within its Division of Infectious Diseases. 

As an internationally recognized expert in virology and immunology, Offit currently serves as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. 

Offit is also a member of the Institute of Medicine and a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research. Additionally, he co-invented the rotavirus vaccine and co-edited  "Plotkin's Vaccines," a leading book on vaccine development. 

Roberts is a scholar of race, gender, and law who holds joint appointments in the School of Arts and Sciences' Sociology Department and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. She is currently serving as the  Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at Penn Carey Law and is the 14th professor in the interdisciplinary Penn Integrates Knowledge program. 

Roberts’ work focuses on social justice issues in policing, family regulation, science, medicine, and bioethics, as well as racial inequities for women, children, families, and communities. She is the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society, a program that aims to use interdisciplinary approaches to direct attention to the implications of race in scientific research.

The American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin, is the oldest learned society in the country and aims to honor and engage scientists, humanists, social scientists, and leaders in civic and cultural affairs. Thirty-three new members accepted spots in 2023.