SAN FRANCISCO U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has named four key members of his science and technology team, saying science holds the key to the planet's survival and U.S. prosperity.
"It's time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology," Obama said as part of his weekly radio address on Dec. 20.
"I am confident that if we recommit ourselves to discovery; if we support science education to create the next generation of scientists and engineers right here in America; if we have the vision to believe and invest in things unseen, then we can lead the world into a new future of peace and prosperity," Obama said.
Obama named John Holdren 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).
Holdren, a physicist, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering as well as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, as well as president and director of the Woods Hole Research Center. From 1994 to 2001 he was a member of U.S. President Bill Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Obama nominated Jane Lubchenco as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lubchenco is an environmental scientist and marine ecologist who has been on the faculty at Oregon State University since 1978.
Eric Lander, one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, was named co-chair of PCAST. He is the founding director of the Broad Institute, having founded the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research in 1990.
Obama also named Harold Varmus co-chair of PCAST. Varmus, former Director of the National Institutes of Health and co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, has served as the president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City since January 2000. In 1993, Varmus was named by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, a position he held until the end of 1999.
The address in which Obama named the appointees can be viewed here.