The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation annually awards $500,000 to individuals to help support their research or other activities aimed at improving the world around them.
"We have surprised ourselves again this year," Daniel Socolow, director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, said in a written statement. "Each (recipient) is an original, and each confirms that the creative individual is alive and well and at work to make our world a better place."
The new fellows will receive financial support for five years with no strings attached and are selected from a list of names drawn up by an exclusive group of nominators.
Among the 25 recipients were U.S. astronomers Andre Gehz and Adam Riess, Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie, German biologist Kirsten Bomblies and Will Allen, a Milwaukee "urban farmer" developing ways for city dwellers to produce their own vegetables.