Want Proof of Boston's Genius?


Did you get a phone call yesterday letting you know that you’re the recipient of a half-million dollar MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grant’? Me neither. But there were a few people in Boston who did. Here’s a look at the four new geniuses who walk among us:

Benjamin Warf: He’s a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Hospital Boston who has pioneered a life-saving low cost treatment to help children suffering from intra-cranial disorders like hydrocephalus, commonly called “water on the brain.” Read more about his work in Uganda at the Children’s Hospital blog.

Raj Chetty: The Harvard economics professor studies how publicly funded government programs impact the American economy. He’s the guy who discovered, for example, that an effective kindergarten teacher boosts a child’s earnings later in life.

Junot Diaz: It’s been a big month for Diaz. The author, Pulitzer Prize winner, and MIT English professor just published a new book of short stories. Check out this slideshow of the things that inspire his writing.

Benoît Rolland: Rolland is a master bow maker, whose designs for violins, violas, and cellos are taking the craft to new dimensions. He makes each bow specifically for the person who is using it, making him a bit like Ollivander’s in Diagon Alley. You can see a video of him making the bows here.

Bonus Genius: Maurice Lim Miller: Though based in California, Miller is the head of the Family Independence Initiative, a program which offers financial incentives to low-income families for making positive steps toward economic independence. FII currently operates in several cities, including Boston, and I wrote about their work here last year.