Three Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious organization honoring excellence in science, the humanities and arts, and policy and communication.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges.

Berkeley Lab scientists Polly Arnold, Uroš Seljak, and Irfan Siddiqi are among 250 new academy members announced today:

Polly Arnold is the director of Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division and a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Arnold is known for her innovative work in exploratory synthetic chemistry. Her research focuses on advancing our understanding of the bonding and reactivity of heavy elements – the elements of the f-block of the periodic table. Her work has shown how the 4f-block elements, also known as the rare earth elements, offer great potential for the catalytic conversion of simple inert molecules needed for a future, renewable-based chemical industry. Her research has also advanced new techniques for controlling the chemistry of actinides – the radioactive metals of the 5f-series – which underpin the long-term, safe management of nuclear waste.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was awarded the 2012 Rosalind Franklin Award and Order of the British Empire in 2017 for her outstanding contributions to chemistry and women in STEM.

Uroš Seljak is a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, the co-director of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, and a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Seljak is a cosmologist known for his research on cosmic microwave background, galaxy clustering, and weak gravitational lensing, and the implications of these observations for the models of the universe, its origins, content, and its future. In 1997, Seljak predicted the existence of B-modes in CMB polarization that are a tracer of primordial gravitational waves from inflation. Much of Seljak’s recent work has focused on how to learn about the fundamental properties of our universe through cosmological observations using analytical methods, numerical simulations, and machine learning tools.

Seljak was inducted into the National Academy of Science in 2019 and co-awarded the 2021 Gruber Prize for his work introducing numerous techniques for the study of the large-scale structure of the universe, as well as the properties of its first instant of existence.

Irfan Siddiqi is a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Applied Mathematics and Computational Research Division and director of Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Quantum Testbed, which develops and operates full-stack quantum computing platforms based on superconducting qubits. He is also head of the Physics Department at the University of California, Berkeley where he is the Douglas Giancoli Chair Professor, and a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Siddiqi and his research group focus on the development of advanced superconducting circuits for quantum information processing, including computation and metrology. He is known for key contributions to quantum measurement science, including real time observations of wavefunction collapse, tests of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, quantum feedback, and the development of a range of microwave frequency, quantum noise limited amplifiers and detectors.

Siddiqi is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and has received numerous awards including the American Physical Society George E. Valley Jr. Prize in 2006 and the 2021 John F. Keithley Award for Advances in Measurement Science.


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is committed to delivering solutions for humankind through research in clean energy, a healthy planet, and discovery science. Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest problems are best addressed by teams, Berkeley Lab and its scientists have been recognized with 16 Nobel Prizes. Researchers from around the world rely on the Lab’s world-class scientific facilities for their own pioneering research. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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