This year’s MacArthur Fellows—the anonymously nominated and vetted recipients of the no-strings $500,000 awards bestowed in recognition of excellent work done in any and all fields, and called “genius grants” just to rub it in a bit more—have been announced, and among the recipients is Jad Abumrad, producer and cohost of WNYC’s Radiolab program. His citation does not specifically laud him for attractively packaging general-interest musings on philosophy, sociology, science and sound into great-sounding podcasts for curious-minded young couples to listen to while making Sunday dinner, but it basically does.
Other New Yorkers among this year’s Geniuses include Francisco Núñez, of the Young People’s Chorus of NYC; the 29-year-old cellist (if only you’d stuck with it!) Alisa Weilerstein; and the jazz percussionist Dafnis Prieto. Plus the New Yorker’s former China correspondent Peter Hessler (yes), our wonderful former poet laureate Kay Ryan, and many from the hard and social sciences (but no fiction writers, filmmakers, or visual artists this year).