CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Grandin is one of 213 new members, which include scientists, artists, writers, philanthropists, and civic and business leaders. The new members will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 8 at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Grandin earned her Ph.D. in 1989 in animal sciences at the University of Illinois.
"Dr. Grandin is one of our most impactful and inspiring alums. Her insights, shaped by the unique ways in which she sees the world, have had a major positive influence on the practices of large animal care throughout the world. We are proud to call her one of our own," said Gene Robinson, director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and an entomology professor. Robinson nominated Grandin for the honor.
Grandin is known for designing livestock-handling facilities and developing a scoring system for assessing the handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants. Her designs and methods are used to improve animal welfare and reduce stress during handling, and they have revolutionized the meat industry. She received the American Meat Institute’s highest award, the Industry Advancement Award, for her role in transforming industry attitudes and practices on animal welfare.
She teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry.
Grandin also is an autism spokesperson. She credits her visual thinking skills with enabling her to design animal-handling equipment that calms animals.
She has written best-selling books on the ethical treatment of animals, including “Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals” and “Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior.”
Grandin has been profiled in The New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Discover magazine and “60 Minutes”; she was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2010 by Time magazine; and her life was the subject of an HBO film, “Temple Grandin.” She gave a 2010 TED lecture titled “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.”
Grandin also received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the U. of I. at the 2004 commencement ceremony.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. The Academy membership includes more than 4,600 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members in mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, medicine, the social sciences and humanities, business, government, public affairs and the arts. Among the Academy's Fellows are more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.