March 5, 1999

Colloquium Speaker: Arthur Bienenstock


Dr. Arthur Bienenstock received a B.S. (1955) and M.S. (1957) degrees in Physics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1962. From 1963 to 1997, he was on the faculty of Harvard University¹s Division of Engineering and Applied Physics and for the next 30 years on the faculty of Stanford University, at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and in the Departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Applied Physics. He served as Director of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) from 1978-1997, leading SSRL¹s transition from a scientific project to a major facility. He also served as Stanford¹s first Faculty Affirmative Action Officer and as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Throughout the 1963-97 period, he maintained an active research group in the general areas of solid-state physics, amorphous materials and synchrotron radiation. He has published over 100 scientific papers in these areas. In 1968, Dr. Bienenstock was the first recipient of the Pittsburgh Diffraction Society¹s Sidhu Award for his work in x-ray diffraction and crystallography. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Polytechnic Institute of New York Alumni Association in 1977. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1997, he was a recipient of a Ph.D. (honorary) from Polytechnic University and also became Associate Director for Science of the White House Office and Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Its Science Division, led by Dr. Bienenstock, concentrates on policy and interagency coordination directly related to the health of U.S. basic science, as well as other policy matters which can be informed by basic science. At OSTP, Dr. Bienenstock has sought to gain general recognition of the interdependencies of the sciences and the need for the country to maintain broad scientific and technological strength. He has also focussed on ensuring that the United States has a scientific and technological workforce, at all levels, to meet the nation¹s 21st Century needs. Mindful of anticipated demographic changes, he initiated an interagency working group which is seeking to increase the participation of minorities, women and the disabled in S&T. He has led a Task Force on the Government-University Research Partnership aimed at strengthening the relationship, and has championed an Interagency Educational Research Initiative to fund large-scale, interdisciplinary research on teaching and learning.


Colloquium Topic: National Science Policy

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has responsibility for leading the White House effort to ensure that the United States continues to maintain global leadership in science, mathematics and engineering research, and that science continues to provide support for the successful resolution of important problems in the areas of health, agriculture, the economy, energy, social well-being, education, and national security. This talk will describe some of the issues that are currently of interest at OSTP, including budget priorities, the Government-University research partnership, the 21st Century science and technology workforce, some other educational issues, as well as cloning and stem cells.