Obama Picks Physicist as Science Adviser

Harvard energy expert to get key role, cheering scientists
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 19, 2008 8:48 AM CST
Harvard physicist John P. Holdren.   (File photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama will appoint Harvard physicist John P. Holdren as science adviser this weekend, pointing to an expanded role for science in the next administration, the Boston Globe reports. Holdren is versed in energy, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. Coming on the heels of Nobel laureate Steven Chu’s nomination as energy secretary, the news pleased scientists who felt sidelined by the Bush administration.

“I think they'll be restoring the role of science in the federal establishment," said the head of a scientists’ union. “We've got a bunch of people across the (new) administration who get it.” Holdren himself “brings enormous strengths in two areas of science policy: energy and the environment,” said a colleague. “He will send a signal to the scientific community, which has been disenchanted” under Bush, “that science will be listened to.”