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President Bush names Robert Brown to advisory council

PCAST panel will help determine scientific research priorities

Boston University President Robert A. Brown has been appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Bush reestablished the council, originally formed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, by executive order in 2001 in an effort to maintain a steady stream of expert advice from the private sector and the academic community on a wide range of scientific and technical matters.

               Robert Brown

“It is an honor to be selected to advise the government in setting priorities in science and technology for the future of the country,” says Brown. “I view the continued development of our scientific capabilities, through education and new research, as critical to our nation’s standard of living and our economic future.”

In his recent State of the Union address, Bush proposed doubling over the next 10 years the federal commitment to the most basic research programs in the physical sciences. He said he hoped to ensure that “America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation” in the science-based economy of the future.
“The president’s initiatives in American competitiveness make me enthusiastic that this is a critical time to play this advisory role,” Brown says.

Brown and three other appointees from higher education — Martin Jischke, president of Purdue University; Robert Witt, president of the University of Alabama; and Richard Herman, chancellor of the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois — join a 38-member council that includes John Marburger, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, who serves as PCAST cochair. Marburger says that the council will provide “advice on networking and information technology R&D” and other key issues.  PCAST, he says, “is a highly respected voice within the administration, and these appointments will enhance its effectiveness.”

The panel meets three or four times a year and advises the president on such topics as nanotechnology, IT manufacturing and competitiveness, technology transfer, science and technology for combating terrorism, expanding the country’s broadband capabilities, partnerships between the federal government and universities, math and science education, advanced energy technologies, and enhancing European-American cooperation in research. PCAST’s 2005 report, for example, was “The National Nanotechnology Initiative at Five Years: Assessment and Recommendations of the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel.”

The February 28 announcement listed the appointment to the council of 14 new members from industry, education, and research institutions. As well as Brown and the others from higher education, the new members are: F. Duane Ackerman, chairman, president, and CEO of BellSouth Corporation; Paul Anderson, chairman and CEO of Duke Energy Corporation; Nance Dicciani, president and CEO of Honeywell Specialty Materials; Fred Kavli, founder and chairman of Kavli Foundation; Daniel Reed, director of Renaissance Computing Institute; Hector de Jesus Ruiz, chairman, president, and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.; Stratton Sclavos, chairman and CEO of VeriSign Inc.; John Brooks Slaughter, president and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering; Joseph Tucci, president and CEO of EMC Corporation; and Tadataka Yamada, chairman of research and development at GlaxoSmithKline.