MIT Energy Initiative Director Ernest J. Moniz is among the 20 leading U.S. scientists and engineers selected to serve on President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
PCAST will advise the president and vice president on science issues and help formulate policy. As announced in December, the group will be co-chaired by John Holdren '65, SM '66, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project; and Harold Varmus, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, former head of the National Institutes of Health and a Nobel laureate.
"This council represents leaders from many scientific disciplines who will bring a diversity of experience and views," Obama said in a statement issued Monday, April 27. "I will charge PCAST with advising me about national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation."
Moniz, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, is director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at MIT. His research centers on energy technology and policy, including the future of nuclear power, coal, natural gas and solar energy in a low-carbon world.
Moniz served as under secretary of the Department of Energy (1997-2001) and associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1995-1997).
Other members of the council include Maxine Savitz PhD '61, retired general manager of Technology Partnerships at Honeywell Inc., and Shirley Ann Jackson '68, PhD '73, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 29, 2009 (download PDF).