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Obama nominates Indian-American professor as member of National Council on Humanities

Image Courtesy: Yale Daily News

By NewsGram Staff Writer

An Indian-American professor from Yale University has been named as a member of the prestigious National Council on Humanities by US President Barack Obama.

President Obama nominated Akhil Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at the university since 2008, along with other key administration positions yesterday evening.

“I am confident that these outstanding individuals will serve the American people well, and I look forward to working with them,” the President said in a statement.

Amar has been a professor at both Yale Law School and Yale College since 1985, and he has held various professorships, including Southmayd Professor from 1993 to 2008, Professor from 1990 to 1993, Associate Professor from 1988 to 1990, and Assistant Professor from 1985 to 1988.

Apart from being a member of the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Accountability Center and the Coalition of Freedom Advisory Board of the National Constitution Center, Amar is also the co-editor of a constitutional law casebook, ‘Processes of Constitutional Decision-making,’ and has written several other books on constitutional law.

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007 and was named a Senior Scholar by the National Constitution Center in 2000.

Amar also worked as a law clerk to Stephen Breyer, who was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, from 1984 to 1985.

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Did You Hear about the New Species of Spiders Named After Leonardo DiCaprio, Bernie Sanders and Barrack Obama?

The new species of spiders have been named in honor of leaders and artists who promoted sensible approaches for a better world

Did you hear about the Bernie Sanders spider? (representational image) Pixabay

Vermont, September 30, 2017 : What if we tell you that a team of researchers has recognized and named 15 new species of spiders in the Caribbean after your favorite stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders?

Not in Hollywood, Washington, DC or Vermont – but you might now be able to catch a glimpse of Spintharus davidattenboroughi, S. barackobamai, S, michelleobamaae, S. berniesandersi, S. davidbowiei along with S. leonardodicaprioi on the Caribbean islands and some other southern spots.

Ingi Agnarsson, expert of spiders and professor of biology at University of Vermont, who led the new study revealed the rationale behind the undergraduate study and on choosing the intriguing names. “(We) wanted to honor people who stood up for both human rights and warned about climate change—leaders and artists who promoted sensible approaches for a better world”, he said.

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The Smiley-Faced Spider

Popularly recognized as a global hotspot for biodiversity, there continues to be several species in the Caribbean that are outside the spectrum of research and study. This includes the ‘smiley faced’ spider in the genus Spintharus- named for a smiley face pattern on their abdomens.

Previously recognized as one widespread species, researchers from the UVM discovered that there exist many more endemic species within the genus, 15 of which have been recognized in the research.

These samples were collected from Florida, South Carolina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, the Lesser Antilles and Columbia.

Each team member got to decide names for the new species of spiders. Alongside naming them after friends and family members, many species have been named after distinguished figures.

“We all named the Bernie Sanders spider together,” said Lily Sargeant, one of the students who worked on the project. “We all have tremendous respect for Bernie. He presents a feeling of hope.”

Some of the other names include,

Spintharus davidbowiei

Named after the great artist David Bowie, who passed away in 2016. His music will continue to inspire generations and the authors decided to honor his legacy by naming a spider in his name.

Spintharus barackobamai

Named after the widely popular, and largely loved, former President of the United States Barack Obama. The authors love him for his statesmanship and humanitarianism, and named the spider species after him, to honor their president and his devoted service.

Spintharus michelleobamaae

Named in honor of the Former First Lady of the United States for her poise, confidence and elegance, her fight for human rights and for always striving to uphold the principles of justice, fairness and equality for all.

Spintharus davidattenboroughi

The authors of the research also named a species of spiders after the naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, to recognize and celebrate his efforts to educate people of the wonders of the natural world and sowing a seed of caring for nature in humanity.

The study has been published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.