AAAS Fellows are elected each year by their peers serving on the Council of AAAS, the organization’s member-run governing body. The title recognizes important contributions to STEM disciplines, including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science.
Professor Nazli Choucri, MIT, Board Member of the Michael Dukakis Institute and the AIWS City, Co-author of the Social Contract for the AI Age, was elected as AAAS Fellow in social, economic, and political sciences for innovative contributions and continuing impact at the interface of international relations and cybersecurity and for work on global sustainability problems and solution strategies.
The tradition of electing AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Since then, the recognition has gone to thousands of distinguished scientists, such as inventor Thomas Edison, elected in 1878, sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois (1905), anthropologist Margaret Mead (1934), computer scientist Grace Hopper (1963), physicist Steven Chu (2000), and astronaut Ellen Ochoa (2012). The 2020 group contains members of each of AAAS’s 24 sections.
AAAS Fellowship often precedes other accolades in long and impactful careers. Two of the 2020 Nobel laureates announced last month, Jennifer Doudna and Charles Rice, are AAAS Fellows. Doudna and a research collaborator received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editor, while Rice and two colleagues received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for contributions to the discovery of the virus that causes Hepatitis C.
AAAS leadership has long encouraged its sections and Council to consider diversity when nominating and selecting Fellows, and the association has taken recent steps toward solidifying its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).