Thalia Beaty/Associated Press
The winners of the MacArthur Foundation's prestigious fellowship this year include a waste management engineer, an ornithologist and writers, physicians and mathematicians. The Chicago-based foundation announced 25 new recipients of its "genius grants" on Wednesday and said it was increasing the award amount to $800,000 over five years. Marlies Carruth, director of the MacArthur fellows program, said the money comes with no strings attached and that the foundation hopes the fellows will continue to inspire. The foundation selects fellows through a multi-stage process and seeks to recognize people who are exceptionally creative in their work.