Dr. Neal Lane

Malcolm Gillis University Professor
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Dr. Neal Lane, Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice University, holds appointments as Senior Fellow of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Prior to returning to Rice University in January 2001, Dr. Lane served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and before that as Director of the National Science Foundation. He was Rice’s Provost and Professor of Physics prior to his time in Washington. Dr. Lane is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Science and Global Change – The Earth’s Climate and Other Issues - 2007 Waynick Lecture

Six decades after the end of World War II and the U.S. federal government’s commitment to invest taxpayer money in scientific research, American science faces some difficult challenges, many of which reflect economic and political changes happening across the globe. And this comes at a time when science (and the knowledge and technologies that are its products) are ever more important to dealing with some of society’s most vexing problems, e.g., global warming and climate change. How the U.S. and the rest of the world deal with these matters over the next decade or two will determine the future wellbeing of many generations of Earth’s inhabitants. With a brief historical backdrop of American science, I will describe some of the challenges to science and its prudent application, using global warming and climate change as an example, and discuss some things that scientists and other informed citizens might do to help.

Confessions of a President’s Science Advisor – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished! - 2007 Colloquium Lecture

The White House works in mysterious ways, regardless of who occupies the Oval Office. All activities, schedules and priorities are supposed to reflect the President’s agenda. But that does not prevent the senior White House staff from having biases and preferences about what they would like the President to do on one or other policy matter. Being effective in such an environment requires a careful balance of assertiveness and team spirit. All actions have consequences, and they can be large. I will give one person’s perspective on the structure and culture of the White House and the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in particular, during the Clinton Administration. I will illustrate with selected examples in several policy areas, e.g., Human Genome Project, National Nanotechnology Initiative, global warming and climate change, and space policy.


For more information contact Linda Becker at 814-865-6337 or llbece@engr.psu.edu
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