The American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States, recently elected eight new members from Harvard into this year’s class of scholars.

The society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge,” honors and engages distinguished scientists, humanists, social scientists, and leaders in civic and cultural affairs through elected membership and opportunities for interdisciplinary, intellectual fellowship, particularly in the semiannual meetings in Philadelphia. Since 1900, more than 240 members have received the Nobel Prize.

This year’s elected members from Harvard follow:

Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Class 1): Lisa Randall, Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science in the Department of Physics, and Shlomo Zvi Sternberg, George Putnam Professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics in the Mathematics Department.

Biological Sciences (Class 2): Gregory A. Petsko, lecturer on neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Social Sciences (Class 3): Cass R. Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law (on leave) at Harvard Law School, and Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard Law School.

Humanities (Class 4): Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science in the Department of the History of Science; and Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art and Culture in the Department of History of Art and Architecture.

The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs (Class 5): Martha Minow, dean of the Faculty of Law and Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Thomas T. Hoopes Prize awarded