During the campaign, then candidate Obama pledged to make the appointment of a presidential science advisor a priority if elected president. On 20 December, President-elect Obama officially fulfilled his pledge when he publically announced that Dr. John Holdren had been selected to serve as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The announcement was the focus of Obama’s weekly ‘radio’ address (available at: http://change.gov/newsroom/entry/thesearchforknowledgetruthandagreaterunderstandingoftheworldaro/ ). The announcement also included the announcement that Dr. Jane Lubchenco would head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the selection of Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander as co-chairs of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; a post they will co-char with Holdren.

Obama said, “The truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources-it’s about protecting free and open inquiry,” President-elect Obama said. “It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient-especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States-and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.”

“John is a professor and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as President and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. A physicist renowned for his work on climate and energy, he’s received numerous honors and awards for his contributions and has been one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change. I look forward to his wise counsel in the years ahead,” said Obama.


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