Three FAS faculty members appointed to Sterling Professorships

Michael Della Rocca, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Gary Tomlinson
October 26, 2021

Clockwise from top left: Michael Della Rocca, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, and Gary Tomlinson

Michael Della Rocca (Philosophy), Sharon Hammes-Schiffer (Chemistry), and Gary Tomlinson (Music and Humanities) have been appointed to Sterling Professorships, Yale’s highest honor.

Michael Della Rocca, Sterling Professor of Philosophy, is an authority on the history of early modern philosophy, rationalism, and contemporary metaphysics, as well as epistemology and the philosophy of action. Della Rocca is the author of three field-defining monographs: Representation and the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza , Spinoza, and most recently, The Parmenidean Ascent, hailed by scholars as a volume that issues a deep challenge to the overly restrictive and less than bold ways in which philosophical debates often take place.

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Sterling Professor of Chemistry, is a leader in the field of theoretical chemistry who is recognized for her groundbreaking work on chemical and biological reactions. Her research centers on the investigation of charge transfer reactions, dynamics, and quantum mechanical effects in chemical, biological, and interfacial processes. This work encompasses the development of analytical theories and computational methods, as well as applications to a wide range of experimentally relevant systems.

Gary Tomlinson, Sterling Professor of Music and of Humanities, is a musicologist whose work has extended beyond the study of music to encompass questions about human evolution and the nature of culture and creativity. Tomlinson is the author of six books, which have introduced new ways of understanding early modern music, operatic history, music and colonialism, and the origins of creativity itself. His current research expands his vision beyond humans to analyze the emergence of semiotic meaning in the animal kingdom.