On September 22, 2021, President Biden announced the 30 members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) – among them are six distinguished scientists who have served the American Association for the Advancement of Science in various leadership roles. They include:
PCAST is the sole body of external advisers charged with making science, technology and innovation policy recommendations to the president and the White House.
Sudip Parikh, CEO of AAAS and executive publisher of the Science journals, marked this occasion by noting: “We celebrate this tremendous honor bestowed upon these leaders of AAAS, past and present, by President Biden.” He elaborated: “This is such a critical juncture for the role that science, technology and innovation play in addressing acute global challenges while advancing progress and breakthrough discoveries. We have no doubt that these leaders, and the others appointed to PCAST, will provide invaluable guidance to the White House and to science and technology policy more broadly, and we look forward to lending our support.”
“The future of America depends on science and technology like never before,” said Eric Lander, PCAST co-chair and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in the White House announcement. Lander added, “Scientific progress depends on people seeing things in new ways, because they bring different lenses, different experiences, different passions, different questions. This PCAST is uniquely prepared because of its extraordinary scientific breadth, wide range of work experiences, and unprecedented diversity.”
The 30-person council includes 10 AAAS Fellows – AAAS members honored for their lifetime efforts on behalf of the advancement of science and its applications. The Fellows are Lander, Greene, Press, Sullivan, Horvitz, Frances Arnold, Maria T. Zuber, Steve Pacala, Saul Perlmutter and Catherine Woteki.
The full list of PCAST members is available in the White House statement.