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Lasers & Sources

Wieman honored for science education efforts

SPIE Newsroom
12 May 2011

Ralph James, Carl Wieman, Martin Apple

Carl Wieman (center) receives congratulations from Ralph James (left) and CSSP President Martin Apple (right) on his award from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

SPIE leaders were on hand last week to congratulate Carl Wieman, Associate Director for Science in the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on receiving the 2011 Award for Education Research Leadership from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP). The award was made 6 May at a CSSP meeting in Washington, D.C., where Wieman encouraged society leaders to help revitalize science education.

Ralph James, SPIE Immediate Past President and CSSP Chair Elect, and Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO, were among scientific society leaders honoring Wieman for his strong support of science education, including his "creative leadership" in establishing innovative science education programs at the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, and the Univ. of British Columbia, and numerous other accomplishments.

Wieman shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics with Eric Cornell and Wolfgang Ketterle, for work related to their creation of the Bose-Einstein condensate.

"Carl Wieman challenged us in his banquet speech at our Optics and Photonics meeting a few years ago, pointing out that we, the science and engineering community, do not use our own test-and-improve approach in science education," Arthurs said. "Carl's passion for science education and commitment to excellence have resulted in education strategies and programs that are helping address the growing problem of poor learning outcomes and the abandonment of science by many in the new generations." Wieman encouraged all scientific societies to help invigorate science education.

Full press release from SPIE
Improving the science of teaching science (New York Times)
Postdocs can be trained to be more effective than senior instructors, study finds (Chronicle of Higher Education)