Harvard Law School Professors Martha Minow, Cass R. Sunstein ’78, and Laurence Tribe ‘66 are among the new class of members elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Founded in 1745 by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society is a discussion group designed for the promotion of “useful knowledge.” Its membership, which currently numbers 1,001, includes top scholars in the fields of mathematical and physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts, as well as leaders in the professions and in public and private affairs. Past members include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Robert Frost, and Albert Einstein.

Through bi-annual meetings, research grants, journals and the APS museum and library, the society advances study in a wide variety of disciplines.

In addition to Minow, Sunstein and Tribe, Michael Boudin ‘64, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, was among the 38 people from the United States elected to the society this year.

Minow is presently the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law. A renowned scholar on human rights, social change, and inequality, she recently co-edited “Just Schools: Pursuing Equality in Societies of Difference” and “Government by Contract: Outsourcing and American Democracy.”

Tribe is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and one of the foremost experts on civil rights and constitutional law. He was recently named senior counselor for access to justice in the Department of Justice, where he leads a newly launched initiative aimed at improving access to civil and criminal legal services. He is the author of many influential works including, most recently, “The Invisible Constitution,” an analysis of the limitations associated with rendering judgments solely based on the text of the Constitution.

Sunstein, currently on leave to serve as the administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, is a prolific scholar in the field of behavioral economics and law. Having joined the faculty in 2006, he is currently the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law. Sunstein, along with co-author Richard H. Thaler, recently published “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.”

— Marc Steinberg