Every year for more than 30 years the MacArthur Foundation has rewarded innovators of all types with grants to fund their work. These awards are popularly known as the "genius grants" and are given to an eclectic mix of thinkers, researchers, writers and artists. The MacArthur Foundation chose 23 recipients this year, all of whom will receive $500,000 over the next five years to fund their projects.
This year, several of this year's winners in arts and writing focused on one theme; the role of war and the military.
An-My Le, a photographer and professor at Bard College in New York, grew up in Vietnam, where war shaped her childhood. Now she uses a 19th century-style camera to capture images of the military and how the landscape has been transformed by war.
David Finkel, a journalist from The Washington Post, won for his work while embedded with a U.S. Army infantry battalion in Iraq. He is now working on a second book about what those soldiers are struggling with since they returned home.
Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras is now working on her third film in a trilogy focused on the war on terror. Her first two films led her to Iraq, Yemen and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
To see more about the other recipients in art, science and economics, be sure to visit the NewsHour homepage.
"People tend to look at the military, they tend to look at war, they tend to look at conflict as something very black and white. And it's not like that at all. So, how do you approach the subject and explore it in a complicated way? And I think that's what I'm trying to do," - An-My Le, Bard College.
1. What is a "grant"?
2. Have you ever entered a competition for creative or scientific accomplishments? What was your experience?
1. Which of these award recipients do you think had the most interesting project? Why?
2. Why do you think these particular people were chosen to receive this award?