Katherine Brooks Senior Arts & Culture Editor, The Huffington Post.

From a 44-year-old microbiologist to a 32-year-old long-form journalist to a 67-year-old jewelry maker, the 2016 class of MacArthur Fellows is a diverse selection of the sharpest minds in America today.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the recipients of its annual MacArthur Fellowship ― commonly referred to as the “Genius Grant” ― early Thursday morning. Dianne Newman, Sarah Stillman and Joyce J. Scott are just three of those recipients, earning themselves a $625,000 stipend and a spot in the history books next to previous fellows like writer Susan Sontag, astrophysicist Joseph Taylor, and artist Carrie Mae Weems. More…