The Periodic Table On

Science in the "Obama Era"
Professor Neal Lane of Rice University
Chemistry Department Colloquium Spring 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009
3:30 p.m.
Seminar Hall, Room 1315
Daniels Chemistry Building, UW-Madison Campus

Introductory remarks given prior to the presentation
by WISL Director Bassam Shakhashiri

Our speaker this afternoon will be introduced shortly by graduate student Divya Goel. She has consented to allow me to say brief words about Professor Neal Lane.

Neal Lane is an advocate for education in science. I hold in my hand a copy of a report published in 1988 by the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment. The report is the product of a task force chaired by Neal Lane when he was provost at Rice University and is called, "Educating Scientists and Engineers: Grade School to Grad School."

In 1988 I was the NSF assistant director for science and engineering education and I can attest that this report had a profound influence on increasing the NSF budget for education at all levels. And as I have said on numerous occasions I will now say in his presence: THANK YOU NEAL!

On April 26 Dr. Lane will receive the Public Welfare Medal which is the most prestigious award given by the National Academy of Sciences. Established in 1914, the medal is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. This award will be given to Dr. Lane for his outstanding accomplishments and here two of them:

The first is the establishment of the NSF CAREER program for young investigators ­ if there are NSF CAREER awardees in the audience, please raise your hand high ... and say THANK YOU NEAL!

And second is the establishment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which this year has an annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion. If there are nanotech researchers in the audience, please raise your hand high ... and say THANK YOU NEAL!

And now I turn it over to Divya Goel.

Introduction of Dr. Lane by Divya Goel

Today, we are honored to welcome Dr. Lane, who was Presidential Science Advisor to Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001. Dr. Lane is a former provost at Rice University, where his tenure began in 1966 when he joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. He left Rice from 1984 to 1986 to serve as Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. In addition, while on leave from Rice from 1979 to 1980, he worked for the National Science Foundation as the Director of the Division of Physics.

He became Director of the National Science Foundation - the entire agency - and member of the National science Board in 1993. Widely recognized as a distinguished scientist and educator, Dr. Lane has written or co-authored more than 90 scientific papers and publications in theoretical, atomic and molecular physics, including a text book on quantum physics.

He earned his three degrees: bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D., from the University of Oklahoma, and is a Oklahoma native. His thesis advisor Prof. Chun C. Lin is currently at the University of Wisconsin­Madison and is today with us, so Dr. Lane has some Wisconsin connections.

As an example of his single-minded dedication to research even in his graduate student days, I learned from a trusted source, he brought along with him a copy of "The Theory of Atomic Collisions" by Mott and Massey during his honeymoon trip.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Lane.


Slides from Professor Lane's lecture are available in Acrobat format here.

To view the full poster, click here.

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