The President-elect's Weekly Address
by Charles Lemos, Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:00:11 PM EST
"The truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources--it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It's about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient--especially when it's inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States--and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work." -- President-elect Barack Obama
President-elect Obama announced the appointment of Dr. John Holdren as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Obama also named Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander as the other co-chairs of PCAST. Addtionally, he named Dr. Jane Lubchenco as his choice to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Dr. John Holdren
John P. Holdren is Professor of Environmental Policy at the Kennedy School of Government and in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He is the director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Research Center and board chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He will serve as the president's science adviser as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology. Here's a lecture of his from November 2007 at the Kennedy School of Government on the topic of "Global Climate Disruption: What Do We Know, What Should We Do?".
Dr. Harold Varmus
Dr. Harold Varmus is a Nobel laureate in Medecine (1989), a leading cancer researcher, a former director of the National Institutes of Health, and the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Varmus is a leader in a quest to liberate scientific knowledge from scientific journals and copyrights to make it free for everyone. Here's an informative profile from Wired magazine entitled Free Radical.
Dr. Eric S. Lander
Dr. Eric Lander is a noted neurobiologist. He is a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a member of the Whitehead Institute, and director of the Broad Institute. He is best known for his role in the Human Genome Project. Here's an interview from 2002 on his role in the mapping the human genome in Science Watch.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist from Oregon State University, will lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which overseas ocean and atmospheric studies and performs much of the government's research on global warming. Dr. Lubchenco has documented enormous dead zones in oceans that have resulted from climate change and has advocated placing vast ocean areas off-limits to fishing and mineral exploitation. Here is a portion of her testimony to Congress on oceanic dead zones.
More on these appointments from the New York Times.
One of my regular readers on my blog noted wryly that "Obama's choice of science advisers is great. It's too bad that his choice of preachers is so seriously and so regularly flawed." Ain't that the truth.