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AAAS Section Requests Permission to Re-review the Election of Patrick Harran as a Fellow

UPDATE: AAAS Chemistry Section Will Not Proceed with Nomination of Patrick Harran as Fellow

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today announced that its governing Council has been asked by the steering group of the AAAS Chemistry Section to allow reconsideration of the nomination of Patrick Harran as an elected Fellow.

The Chemistry Section’s request to the Council was made after it became apparent that an initial review of Dr. Harran’s nomination materials had not included all relevant information.

In a tradition dating to 1874, election as a Fellow of AAAS—the world’s largest general scientific society—is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers that recognizes efforts to advance science or its applications.

Under AAAS bylaws, Fellows are nominated either independently by three existing AAAS Fellows, as in Dr. Harran’s case, or by the elected leadership of topical membership Sections. Following review by the relevant topical sections, successful fellows are then ratified by elected members of the AAAS Council, without interference or influence by AAAS staff. Newly elected Fellows are then inducted at a ceremony during the AAAS Annual Meeting in February.

In November, AAAS had announced the election of 347 new Fellows, to be honored at a 13 February awards ceremony. Last week, members of the nomination reviewing committee became aware of a 2009 case involving the death of a technician in the UCLA laboratory of Dr. Harran.

An additional announcement will be made as soon as the relevant AAAS governance bodies issue a final decision in this case.

Contact: Gavin Stern,, 202-326-6429