The Genius

Submitted by Meredith Guinness, Assistant Director, Media Relations on April 18, 2009

fn_s09_pronovost1Eight-year-old Emma Pronovost knows how to keep her daddy grounded.

When her teacher announced to the class that Emma’s father, Dr. Peter Pronovost ’87, won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – a no-strings-attached $500,000 grant known as the ‘genius grant’ – she immediately took issue.

“My daddy’s not a genius,” she told her fellow third-graders. “Sometimes I put peanut butter on his nose and he lies down on the floor and our yellow lab licks it off. That’s not genius!”

Apparently, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation didn’t take extracurricular activities into account when it awarded Pronovost, a Johns Hopkins University professor and critical care specialist, one of just 25 of the coveted grants this year. And Time Magazine must not have researched his unusual hobby when it named him one of the “most influential people of 2008.”

So what makes Pronovost a ‘genius?’ In the end, it’s a simple checklist.

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