David Hart Named Lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

A man with a very happy smile looks at the camera.
David Hart: The honor ‘means that my peers and colleagues perceive that I have provided substantial value to the field.’ Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government professor David M. Hart has been named a lifetime fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the highest distinctions in the scientific community. The AAAS Fellows designation honors scientists, engineers, and innovators whose efforts on behalf of science and its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.

The fellows program began in1874 and previous recipients include groundbreaking scholar W.E.B DuBois, pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell, Nobel laureate Steven Chu, award-winning astronaut and NASA leader Ellen Ochoa, actor and activist Alan Alda, and roboticist and entrepreneur Ayanna Howard.

“It’s very gratifying to be recognized for my contributions, both as a researcher and a mentor,” Hart said of the AAAS honor. “It means that my peers and colleagues perceive that I have provided substantial value to the field. That’s what every researcher who takes peer review and collective progress of their field seriously aspires to.”

Hart is a professor of public policy specializing in science and technology policy. His current work focuses on clean energy innovation policy. Hart recently led a study supported by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy that examines ways to decarbonize PVC production in the U.S. He has also provided research to advance the creation of both a Department of Energy Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) and the Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation, both of which have been acted on by Congress and the Biden administration.

His books include Unlocking Energy Innovation (MIT Press, with coauthor Richard K. Lester), The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy (Cambridge University Press) and Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the U.S., 1929-1953 (Princeton University Press), and he was coauthor of Energizing America (Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs Center on Global Energy Policy). 

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.

Hart and other newly elected AAAS Fellows will be honored for their achievements at an in-person celebration in Washington, D.C., this spring.