"I was very surprised and honored," Yates said. "The AAAS fellows I have known over the years have always been distinguished by their creativity, integrity and commitment to society. The prospect of being associated with such people is humbling."

The new class — whose members include philanthropist and singer-songwriter John Legend and award-winning actress Carol Burnett — will be inducted Oct. 7 in Cambridge, Mass.

Founded in 1780, AAAS is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.