The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) – the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science – has awarded five Harvard professors the distinction of AAAS fellow. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed on society members by their peers.

More than 300 members were named fellows because of their efforts to “advance science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” The 2004 fellows will be honored at AAAS’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19. This year’s fellows were announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science on Oct. 29.

The Harvard researchers were elected by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections; by any three fellows who are current AAAS members; or by the chief executive officer.

Harvard’s AAAS fellows

The medical sciences section elected professors of medicine Ruth M. Ruprecht and Bruce D. Walker. Ruprecht was elected for fundamental studies of lentiviral pathogenesis and distinguished contributions to AIDS vaccine development and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Walker was named a fellow for contributions to the study and treatment of HIV/AIDS resulting in the first identification of a strong cellular immune response to HIV in infected persons.

The section on neuroscience elected Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry Joseph T. Coyle. Coyle was named a fellow for distinguished contributions to research, scholarship, and mentoring on the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders and for outstanding leadership in university and professional societies.

In the section on physics, Gordon McKay Professor of Materials Science Michael J. Aziz was elected for seminal studies of the non-equilibrium atomic-scale mechanisms underlying modern materials processing techniques.

The section on social, economic, and political sciences elected Gary King, David Florence Professor of Government and director of the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, for distinguished and innovative development and application of statistical methods that have resolved fundamental questions in political science and international relations.