Talking science

Pelosi, Holt, and Tilghman convene science roundtable

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., joined more than 20 leaders from government, industry, and academia to discuss America’s commitment to research in the physical sciences and energy at a Dec. 15 roundtable in Princeton’s Chancellor Green. The meeting was organized by Pelosi, President Tilghman, and Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J.
In a statement delivered afterward, Tilghman said the United States has reached an important time to “make a very serious investment in the kind of innovation and creativity that has always fueled this country and its economy.”
Pelosi agreed, promising that the incoming Congress would focus on science in many forms: “The science to protect and defend America, the science to grow our economy through innovation and education, the science and engineering to rebuild our infrastructure in America … , the science to make America healthy, and the science to preserve our planet by reversing global warming and declaring our energy independence — they are all related,” she said.
Participant Norman Augustine ’57 *59, a former president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, chaired a 2005 National Academies committee that found America’s funding for research and science education was severely lacking. As a nation, he said, “We’re in a relatively strong position today, but I think it’s widely agreed that we’re losing that position, and we’re losing that position rapidly.”
Augustine told PAW that in the Chancellor Green meeting, which was not open to the public or the press, participants had “near-total agreement” about the improvements needed for science education and research. “People agree what the problem is, [and] we agree what has to be done,” he said. “We just have to do it.”

PAW’s top 10 features of 2008

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According to Web traffic, here are the 10 most popular feature stories from the last 12 months of PAW:

1. Princeton’s most influential alumni (Jan. 23)
As selected by a panel of faculty and alumni experts

2. Two brothers, two paths (Nov. 5)
Gabe Legendy ’05 and his brother Conrad ’07 felt called to the Army during a time of war — but then their plans diverged

3. Going solo (April 23)
A profile of violist David Carpenter ’08

4. Raking muck in the new public square (Oct. 8)
TPM Media’s Josh Marshall ’91

5. The Gehry that landed on Ivy Lane (Oct. 8)
The new Lewis Library brings a futuristic face to a tradition-heavy place

6. Marking time (Sept. 24)
Combining history and archaeology, Princeton scholars reconstruct daily life in the fields of Turkey

7. The new rules of financial aid (May 14)
Elite schools offer more while other colleges struggle to stay in the game

8. Growing the campus (June 11)
How Princeton preserves its “lazy beauty”

9. Rethinking Reagan (Oct. 22)
Liberal historian Sean Wilentz still disagrees with the conservative president, but gives credit where it’s due

10. Everything you wanted to know about money and ethics, relationships, fashion, and health (March 5)
PAW wasn’t afraid to ask our alumni pundits

Names in the news

i-e1f79d7f5e3cf5320968ab219cc3cdf8-billington_kopp.jpgLibrarian of Congress James Billington ’50, left, and Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp ’89 were among 23 people who received the Presidential Freedom Medal from President George W. Bush Dec. 10. Princeton professor Robert George also was honored. [WhiteHouse.gov]
Recent graduate Victor Amin ’08 bypassed the Wall Street job market to create an Internet startup, the spam-protection provider rSapient. [ABC News]
Actor John C. Vennema ’70 began previews for the New York production of “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” a Martin McDonagh play directed by Garry Hynes. [Broadway World]
Publishers Weekly chose Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos ’86 — “the driving force behind one of the industry’s most dynamic, if sometimes controversial, companies” — as its Person of the Year. [Publishers Weekly]
Queen Noor of Jordan ’74 is expected to become a blogger for the Huffington Post’s World News page. [Media Bistro]
Eli Harari *73, founder of SanDisk, the world’s largest supplier of flash storage cards, received the Global Semiconductor Alliance’s top leadership award.
[Marketwatch]
History teacher and high school football coach Joe Cattolico ’96 led his team to a Sacramento city championship in just its third varsity season. [Sacramento Bee]

Billington and Kopp photos by Chris Greenberg.

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