Bush’s choice for science adviser has big background in small tech

June 26, 2001 — The man expected to have President Bush’s ear on science and technology issues understands the potential of nanotechnology and MEMS.


John H. Marburger III stands in the
collider tunnel at Brookhaven National
Laboratories. Marburger is President Bush’s
choice for science and technology adviser.
Brookhaven National Laboratories photo

For the past three years, he’s run a national laboratory that has been heavily involved small tech research.

Bush on Monday said he will nominate John H. Marburger III to direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a post that has been vacant for five months.

Marburger, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., will be the president’s chief adviser in science and technology if the Senate confirms the nomination, officials said.

A Brookhaven spokesman said Marburger will not comment publicly until the confirmation process is over. In a written statement released today, Marburger said he is “delighted” by the news and will talk about his ideas for the post if he is confirmed.

It’s not clear how much influence Marburger, a Democrat, will have on Bush’s policies. It has been an advisory position only, but has a high profile in the science community.

As Brookhaven director since March 1998, he has overseen the development of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which Brookhaven bills as the world’s newest and largest particle accelerator for nuclear physics research.

Several nanotechnology research projects are under way at Brookhaven, including advanced microfabrication techniques involving silicon, as well as atomic imaging, according to its Web site. The lab also has created a nanotechnology task force to explore future research areas.

He is on leave from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he served as president and professor from 1980-1994, and professor of physics and electrical engineering from 1994-1997.

Marburger received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1962 from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in applied physics in 1967 from Stanford University.

— Jeff Karoub


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