Ethnic Hungarian scientist Albert-László Barabási elected into the US National Academy of Sciences

Network scientist Albert-László Barabási joins fewer than 500 international members of the NAS, founded in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln

Network scientist Albert-László Barabási. (Mandiner/Árpád Földházi)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Albert-László Barabási, the Hungarian scientist whose seminal work “Linked: The New Science of Networks” was instrumental in establishing network research as an independent discipline, has been elected an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Barabási became the distinguished professor and director of the Center for Network Science at Northeastern University in 2007 and took up an appointment in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In the Barabási Lab, he and his researchers have studied how networks affect everything from subcellular genetic interactions through professional relationships to the achievement of success.

Human society itself, according to Barabási, “is really nothing more than a set of many social and professional ties.” Network science focuses on how to “understand the underlying (mathematical) patterns and laws that govern these networks.”

Barabási saw the award as a recognition of network science as a whole. “Network science is a new field that has only recently found its place in the scientific canon.”

Although he is a member of five other academies, including the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, he believes the NAS is very special compared to them, “because its members have a lot of issues to consider in relation to science policy.”

The 57-year-old is an ethnic Hungarian born in Csíkkarcfalva, Romania. He studied physics in Bucharest and Budapest and earned his PhD at the Boston University. He is now one of the fewer than 500 international members of the NAS, founded in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.

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