A note from India-West's Sunita Sohrabji points out that we didn't note a major award. From her piece in the California weekly:
MIT quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala was announced Sept. 28 as one of 23 winners of the coveted 2010 MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a genius grant, and will receive a $500,000 “no strings attached” award over the next five years.
“I had always known of the MacArthur fellowship and all the wonderful scientists, historians and artists who had won it in the past, but I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought that I would be one of them,” Mavalvala, the first-known Parsi to receive the award, told India-West.
“I am incredibly humbled and so grateful to my colleagues and everyone who has supported my work,” she said from her office at MIT on the afternoon the winners were announced.
In 2006, there were two South Asian winners of the MacArthur: Atul Gawande, physician and writer; Shazia Sikander, painter. Have any desis won since then? Think you might be a genius? See the FAQ.
Back in 1996, we put together a list of past South Asian winners (or, in the case of Jhabvala, South Asian connections). Anyone missing? The award was first given out in 1981.
- 2006 - Atul Gawande, physician
- 2006 - Shazia Sikander, painter
- 2005 - Fazal Sheikh - photographer
- 2004 - Dr. Vamsi Mootha, clinical molecular biologist
- 2002 - Sendhil Mullainathan - MIT economist
- 1998 - Ayesha Jalal - historian
- 1991 - Ali Akbar Khan - classical Indian music performer
- 1984 - Ruth Prawer Jhabvala - novelist and screenwriter
- 1983 - A. K. Ramanujan - poet, translator and literary scholar
- 1982 - Ved Mehta, author
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