The White House announced this morning that BIDS Director Saul Perlmutter has been appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
Perlmutter, who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of dark energy and the accelerating expansion of the universe, leads the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Supernova Cosmology Project, and Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics. He is a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and holds the Franklin W. and Karen Weber Dabby Chair in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to other awards and honorary doctorates, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Shortly after his inauguration, President Biden reestablished PCAST with an executive order that advanced the council’s role to “advise the President on matters involving policy affecting science, technology, and innovation, as well as on matters involving scientific and technological information that is needed to inform public policy relating to the economy, worker empowerment, education, energy, the environment, public health, national and homeland security, racial equity, and other topics.”
The 30 new appointees announced today draw from the nation’s most talented and accomplished individuals, including 20 elected members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, five MacArthur “Genius” Fellows, two former Cabinet secretaries, and two Nobel laureates. PCAST members include experts in astrophysics and agriculture, biochemistry and computer engineering, ecology and entrepreneurship, immunology and nanotechnology, neuroscience and national security, social science and cybersecurity, and more.
“It’s certainly an honor to serve on PCAST,” said Perlmutter. “Science has so much to offer our society, with both solutions and guidance, so it is more important than ever that we make it possible for everyone to share an understanding of its approaches and capabilities. I hope my experience with curiosity-driven and practical research and education can help with both the advising and the understanding of this advice.”
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