The MacArthur Geniuses

Does your résumé stack up?

Today, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the 25 recipients of the 2005 MacArthur Fellowships. These grants, worth $100,000 a year for five years, are awarded to people who demonstrate “creativity, originality, and potential” and are meant to allow the recipients to pursue their plans without worrying about finances. The double super-secret scouting process keeps nominees unaware that they are up for a potential windfall. In this piece, David Plotz crunched the numbers to find out who is most likely to get the unexpected call announcing the fellowship. The verdict? “All the rules suggest that the perfect MacArthur genius is still out there: a one-named Berkeley professor who choreographs interpretative jazz dances about how genetically modified food will destroy humanity.”