This for me is so exciting-- Obama appreciates science and gets its purpose. We have a new acronym: PCAST - President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Holdren comes from Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts. I love Woods Hole! I'll put some photos up later if I can find them. I'll also dig up more on his PCAST picks for another post.
Dr. John Holdren has agreed to serve as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. John is a professor and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as President and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. A physicist renowned for his work on climate and energy, he’s received numerous honors and awards for his contributions and has been one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change. I look forward to his wise counsel in the years ahead.
John will also serve as a Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology—or PCAST—as will Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander. Together, they will work to remake PCAST into a vigorous external advisory council that will shape my thinking on the scientific aspects of my policy priorities.
Dr. Varmus is no stranger to this work. He is not just a path-breaking scientist, having won a Nobel Prize for his research on the causes of cancer—he also served as Director of the National Institutes of Health during the Clinton Administration. I am grateful he has answered the call to serve once again.
Dr. Eric Lander is the Founding Director of the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard and was one of the driving forces behind mapping the human genome—one of the greatest scientific achievements in history. I know he will be a powerful voice in my Administration as we seek to find the causes and cures of our most devastating diseases.
Finally, Dr. Jane Lubchenco has accepted my nomination as the Administrator of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is devoted to conserving our marine and coastal resources and monitoring our weather. An internationally known environmental scientist and ecologist and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Jane has advised the President and Congress on scientific matters, and I am confident she will provide passionate and dedicated leadership at NOAA.