President-elect Barack Obama named four top science advisors in his radio address yesterday. As reported widely last week, John Holdren will be his chief science adviser, as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, and Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at Oregon State University, will direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Holdren advised Obama during the presidential campaign and directs of the program on science, technology, and public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Taken together with Obama's choice of Steven Chu as secretary of energy, the appointments suggest that Obama's stance on climate change will be significantly different from that of his predecessor.
Obama also named the chairs of the Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology: Nobel Prize winner Harold Varmus and MIT genome biologist Eric Lander.
Full story from Scientific American.
New York Times editorial: A New Respect for Science.
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Woods Hole director is Obama science advisor pick
President-elect Obama has selected physicist John Holdren, who has devoted much of his career to energy and environmental research, as his White House science adviser, according to a published report on Thursday, December 18. The Obama transition office would not confirm Holdren's selection.
Holdren's career as a physicist has led him into a variety of fields, including climate change and environmental policy. He is on the faculty at Harvard, where he is Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy. He is also director of the Woods Hole Research Institute in Falmouth, Mass. He spent many years on the faculty at Berkeley, where he remains a professor emeritus.
Full story from Washington Post.
New energy and climate team faces big challenges
The team President-elect Barack Obama introduced on Monday to carry out his energy and environmental policies faces a host of political, economic, diplomatic and scientific challenges that could impede his plans to address global warming and America's growing dependence on dirty and uncertain sources of energy.
Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado is set to become the secretary of the interior. Joining the group will be Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics whom Mr. Obama designated to lead the Energy Department.
Nathan Lewis, who leads a team at Caltech pursuing ways to greatly improve solar energy technologies, said the appointment of Dr. Chu as energy secretary sent a strong signal that Mr. Obama understood that any program on climate-friendly energy had to have three prongs: increasing efficiency, moving existing nonpolluting energy technologies more quickly into the market, and advancing on the frontiers of energy science in search of radical breakthroughs.
Full story from New York Times.