Obama Adds To His Science Dream Team With Another Nobel Winner


Carl Wieman, right, via University of British Columbia

President Obama has added to his White House science dream team by nominating Carl Wieman, now at the University of British Columbia, as the associate director of science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Wiemen won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1991 and he joins fellow Nobel laureate Dr. Steven Chu, Obama's Secretary of Energy, in the Obama administration. The addition on Wiemen is just the latest signal that Obama is serious about putting science back in its rightful place in regards to making public policy after his predecessor played politics with science.The Office of Science and Technology Policy is run by John Holdren, formerly of Harvard. It's not yet clear what Wiemen will be doing at the OSTP but given his background, its likely that he will head up any White House effort on science education. Wieman created programs at the University of British Columbia and the University of Colorado to further science education initiatives.

The OSTP mission is:

The mission of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is threefold; first, to provide the President and his senior staff with accurate, relevant, and timely scientific and technical advice on all matters of consequence; second, to ensure that the policies of the Executive Branch are informed by sound science; and third, to ensure that the scientific and technical work of the Executive Branch is properly coordinated so as to provide the greatest benefit to society.

The White House give this biography of Wiemen:

Dr. Carl Wieman currently divides his time between the University of British Columbia and the University of Colorado. At each institution, he serves as both the Director of Collaborative Science Education Initiatives aimed at achieving widespread improvement in undergraduate science education and as a Professor of Physics. From 1984 through 2006, he was a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Presidential Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado. While at the University of Colorado, he was a Fellow of JILA (a joint federal-university institute for interdisciplinary research in the physical sciences) and he served as the Chair of JILA from 1993-95. Dr. Wieman has conducted extensive research in atomic and laser physics. His research has been recognized with numerous awards including sharing the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for the creation of a new form of matter known as "Bose-Einstein condensation". Dr. Wieman has also worked extensively on research and innovations for improving science education; he was the founding Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Science Education. He has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation's Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award (2001), the Carnegie Foundation's U.S. University Professor of the Year Award (2004), and the American Association of Physics Teachers' Oersted Medal (2007) for his work on science education. Dr. Wieman received his B.S. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1977.

More on Obama's Team:
Obama Picks For Science Advisor, NOAA Head Strong on Climate Change
Who's Who on Obama's Green Team: Stephen Chu, Secretary of Energy