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JULY 2023 WEBINAR: How can public access advance equity and learning?

On July 17, 2023, multiple federal agencies — convened by the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science — came together to lay out their public access plans. 



Program and Speakers

Welcome and Introduction

  • The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan, Ph.D., Director, U.S. National Science Foundation: bio

Overview of OSTP Public Access Guidance and Federal Agency Plans

  • Maryam Zaringhalam, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Public Access and Research Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: bio, OSTP public access plan
  • Steve Crawford, Senior Program Executive for data and computing, Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration: bio, NASA public access plan
  • Jessica Tucker, Ph.D., Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Science Policy, National Institutes of Health: bioNIH public access plan
  • Brian Hitson, Director, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Department of Energy: bioDOE public access plan
  • Martin Halbert, Ph.D., Science Advisor for Public Access, U.S. National Science Foundation; bioNSF public access plan

Panel Discussion: Impact of Policies on Scientific Community

  • Moderator: Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., AAAS CEO and Executive Publisher, Science Family of Journals
  • Willie E. May, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Economic Development, Morgan State University | President-elect, AAAS: bio
  • Philip Rosenthal, M.D., Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Professor, Medicine, University of California, San Francisco: bio
  • Vanessa Sansone, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, The University of Texas at San Antonio: bio
  • Sam Zhang, Ph.D. candidate in Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder: bio
  • Debosmita Sardar, Ph.D., NIH K99/R00 Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine: bio

Equity Aspirations

  • Alan Tomkins, deputy director, Division of Social and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation: bio


Speaker Bios

Sethuraman Panchanathan

Sethuraman Panchanathan

The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan is a computer scientist and engineer and the 15th director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Panchanathan was nominated to this position by the President of the United States in 2019, and subsequently, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 18, 2020. NSF is a $9.5 billion independent federal agency and the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation and STEM education.

Panchanathan is a leader in science, engineering and education with more than three decades of experience. He has a distinguished career in both higher education and government, where he has designed and built knowledge enterprises, which advance research innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, global development and economic growth.

As director, Panchanathan maintains leadership roles on several key interagency councils and committees, including as co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is a member of the White House CHIPS Implementation Steering Council and the White House Gender Policy Council. He is also chair of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee and co-vice chair of the Council for Inclusive Innovation.

Panchanathan previously served as the executive vice president of the Arizona State University (ASU) Knowledge Enterprise, where he was also chief research and innovation officer. He was also the founder and director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU. Under his leadership, ASU increased research performance fivefold, earning recognition as the fastest-growing and most innovative research university in the U.S.

Prior to joining NSF, Panchanathan was appointed by the President to serve on the National Science Board where he was a chair of the Committee on Strategy and a member of the External Engagement and National Science and Engineering Policy committees. Additionally, he was chair of the Council on Research of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and co-chair of the Extreme Innovation Taskforce of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. Arizona's governor appointed Panchanathan as senior advisor for science and technology in 2018. He was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine and editor and associate editor of several international journals.

Panchanathan's scientific contributions have advanced the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces and ubiquitous computing technologies for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with different abilities; machine learning for multimedia applications; and media processor designs. He has published close to 500 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and has mentored more than 150 graduate students, postdocs, research engineers and research scientists, many who now occupy leading positions in academia and industry.

For his scientific contributions, Panchanathan has received numerous awards, including Honorary Doctorates from prestigious universities, Distinguished Alumnus Awards, the Governor’s Innovator of the Year for Academia Award, the Washington Academy of Sciences Distinguished Career Award and the IEEE-USA Public Service Award.

Panchanathan is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, where he also served as vice president for strategic initiatives. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Optical Engineering.

Panchanathan is married to Sarada "Soumya" Panchanathan, an academic pediatrician and informatician, who has taught medical students, pediatric residents and informatics fellows. They have two adult children, Amritha and Roshan.


Maryam Zaringhalam

Maryam Zaringhalam

Dr. Maryam Zaringhalam is the Assistant Director for Public Access and Research Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She comes to OSTP from the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, where she served asthe Data Science and Open Science Officer. There, she worked to enhance capacity in the biomedical research community for data science and open science, as well as promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among the research work force. Prior, she was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow from 2017 to 2019 after receiving her PhD in molecular biology from the Rockefeller University.

Steve Crawford

Steve Crawford

Steve Crawford is Senior Program Executive for data and computing in the Science Mission Directorate of NASA. He is the lead for the Open Source Science Initiative and lead the development of SMD’s Scientific Information Policy. Previously, he has managed the teams maintaining the open source calibration software for the Hubble Space Telescope and Webb Space Telescope and has a PhD in Astronomy.


Jessica Tucker

Jessica Tucker

Jessica Tucker is the Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Science Policy at NIH. In this position, she helps provide leadership on a number of policy topics that impact biomedical research. She previously served as the Director of the Division of Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Emerging Biotechnology Policy within the Office of Science Policy, where she led work on a number of policy topics, including the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules, dual use research, and emerging biotechnologies.

Previously, Dr. Tucker was a Program Director at the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at NIH where she managed a program on gene and drug delivery systems and on synthetic biology. Prior to her time at NIH, she worked at HHS in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, which she joined initially as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow. Prior to her time at HHS, Dr. Tucker was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University within the Department of Technology and Society, where she conducted engineering education research and lectured within the Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering. Dr. Tucker worked for two years in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry.

Jessica received a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


Brian Hitson

Brian Hitson

Brian A. Hitson is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) in the DOE Office of Science.

Brian co-authored the DOE Public Access Plan in 2014 and DOE’s new public access plan in 2023, including strategies for providing access to the scholarly publications resulting from DOE’s R&D efforts. Along with DOE colleagues, he led the launch of the DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science, or DOE PAGES.  Brian also formed partnerships with the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense in increasing public access to those agencies' R&D results. As Director, he has led strategic efforts to improve discoverability and linkages between DOE’s diverse, related research objects, including publications, datasets, and scientific software available at OSTI.GOV.  Brian played a key role in the development of, a multilingual, federated search of 70 countries’ scientific databases.


Martin Halbert

Martin Halbert

Dr. Martin Halbert is the NSF Science Advisor for Public Access. In this role he leads the programmatic activities of the National Science Foundation aimed at advancing the understanding and adoption of open science practices utilizing public access mechanisms, and agency efforts to ensure that research products arising from NSF-funded projects are publicly accessible. Halbert has an interdisciplinary PhD from Emory University. His research and primary areas of expertise include Open Science policy, scientific research repositories, research support services, and strategies for building inter-institutional collaborative alliances to advance new research functions.


Willie E May

Willie E. May

Dr. Willie E. May currently serves as Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University where he has been working aggressively to increase the quality and quantity research outputs, facilitate increased entrepreneurship and tech transfer, and to better connect research across Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University to community needs.

He previously served as the Senate-Confirmed Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology. In this role Dr. May provided high-level oversight and day-to-day leadership for the  National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) , in promoting U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life, and the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) in providing innovative data services to federal agencies, through joint venture partnerships with the private sector, to advance federal data priorities, promote economic growth, and enable operational excellence. He began his career as a bench Chemist at NIST/NBS and went on to work at every management level within the organization. His personal research activities were focused in the areas of trace organic analytical chemistry and determination of physico-chemical properties of organic compounds, where his work is described in more than 100 peer-reviewed technical publications. During his career, Dr. May has given more than 250 invited lectures at conferences and symposia around the world.

Dr. May currently serves as President-Elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Board of Directors for Consumer Reports, and on the NASA Advisory Council’s Science Committee. Until recently he maintained several international leadership responsibilities as well, including but not limited to serving as: Vice President of the International Committee on Weights and Measures (CIPM); President of the CIPM’s Consultative Committee on Metrology in Chemistry and Biology; a member of the Scientific Advisory Board’s for the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL); and a member of China’s National Institute of Metrology (NIM).

Dr. May earned his B.S in Chemistry from Knoxville College and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park. His numerous honors and awards include: Honorary Doctorates from Wake Forrest University and the University of Alabama Huntsville; the American Chemical Society’s Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry Award; the American Chemical Society’s Public Service Award;  the Department of Commerce’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Awards; the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award; and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ Percy Julian Award. In 2015, he was recognized as the Federal Government’s “Top Chemist” by Chemical and Engineering News Magazine, and in 2016, as the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s “Laboratory Director of the Year.” Dr. May is a Fellow of both the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Philip Rosenthal

Philip Rosenthal

Philip Rosenthal is Professor, Dept. of Medicine, U. California, San Francisco and Associate Chief for Academic Affairs and Research in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. He is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and on the editorial boards of other journals. Dr. Rosenthal has served on review groups and advisory bodies for the NIH, WHO, and other organizations. He is on the Board of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network, a member of the Medicines for Malaria Venture Expert Scientific Advisory Committee, and a member of the WHO Guideline Development Group for Malaria Chemotherapy. Dr. Rosenthal’s research focuses on malaria treatment and prevention, drug resistance, pharmacodynamics, mechanisms of action, and drug discovery. Primary research sites are in Uganda, Burkina Faso, and at UCSF.


Vanessa Sansone

Vanessa Sansone

Vanessa A. Sansone is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Her areas of research interest focus on understanding college affordability, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and power structures & governance on the trajectories, experiences, and opportunities of historically underserved students.

In 2020, she was named as one of the 35 most outstanding women in higher education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. She has been recognized by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) as a top Latina graduate scholar. She has also been nationally selected as a Faculty Fellow with the Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM).

She currently serves as the Director of Policy for the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges (ARRC), and as the elected Member-at-Large on the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Public Policy in Higher Education (CPPHE). She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from UTSA, a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from UTSA, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio.


Sam Zhang

Sam Zhang

Sam Zhang (he/him) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the area of Science Policy. His research uses mathematical and computational tools to study issues in public policy, and his thesis is about inequalities in academia, with specific focus on the ways that institutional prestige shapes faculty careers. He is advised by Dr. Aaron Clauset.


Debosmita Sardar

Debosmita Sardar

Debosmita Sardar holds a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Utah. She is currently a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Benjamin Deneen Lab at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Her work, using glial cells in the mouse olfactory bulb, has shown how astrocytes utilize chemicals like serotonin to epigenetically modulate animal sense of smell. Her research is supported by the K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award. Additionally, she is committed to advancing inclusivity in research spaces. She has taken the initiative to organize and participate in various programs to help postdoctoral researchers, encourage underrepresented students to pursue careers in academia, including providing mentorship to diverse college and high-school students.


Alan Tompkins

Alan Tomkins

Alan Tomkins is the deputy director of NSF's Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES). Since joining the agency in the fall of 2014, he has served as the acting division director for SES on several occasions and for the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) for eight months in 2018.

Dr. Tomkins has also performed a variety of agency-wide roles, ranging from increasing public access to simplifying, streamlining and standardizing the merit review process. His major cross-agency activity is serving as one of the co-chairs, along with representatives from OSTP, NIH and NOAA, of the Subcommittee on Open Science. He also serves as NSF's representative on the committee that is advising the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the Federal Judicial Center on developing a fourth edition of the "Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence," a primary reference source for federal judges on questions of science, technology and medicine in litigation. Dr. Tomkins is also involved in the oversight of NASEM's Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN): Facilitating Rapid and Actionable Responses to Social, Behavioral, and Economic-Related COVID-19 Questions.

Prior to joining NSF, Dr. Tomkins spent almost 30 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where was the founding director of the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center (now emeritus director) and professor in the Law-Psychology Program (now emeritus professor). He received a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Boston University and a J.D. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis.

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