A prominent U.S. physicist with Texas ties who served previously as the director of science and technology is set to speak at Texas A&M this week. Dr. Neal Francis Lane, a former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will present an insightful lecture that speaks directly to the challenges of advising the President and executive branch of the government on science issues, which have become increasingly polemical and politicized in recent years. The lecture, entitled, “Giving Science Advice to the President – and Why It’s Getting Harder” will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday (April 10) in Room 215 of the Animal Industries Building at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Lane’s lecture, which is being sponsored by the Texas Center for Climate Studies and the College of Geosciences, will draw upon his own experiences in advising the President on matters of science, as he served as the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Bill Clinton, with his tenure running from August 1998 to January 2001. Prior to his role at the White House, Lane also served as director of the National Science Foundation from 1993 to 1998, an appointment that led him into his stint at the white House.
Prior to that, in 1966 he became an assistant professor of physics at Rice University, a post that he held for almost thirty years. While he left Rice in 1984 to serve as chancellor at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, he later returned to serve as provost of Rice from 1986 to 1992. Dr. Lane now currently serves as the Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Senior Fellow in the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
Not only will the lecture seek to illuminate the difficulties in balancing science with societal issues in developing and enforcing public policy at the federal executive level, but also will discuss current challenges to the United States science and technology enterprise, and how the White House can interact with that aspect of industry.