Dr John Holdren
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Lecture was held October 25, 2010
This distinguished lectureship honors the memory of David J. Rose (1922-1985), a renowned professor of nuclear engineering at MIT. The lectureship was established in December 1984 on the occasion of Professor Rose's retirement and in recognition of his work in fusion technology, energy, nuclear waste disposal, and his concern with ethical problems arising from advances in science and technology.
Professor Rose received his B.A.Sc. degree in engineering physics from the University of British Columbia in 1947 and his Ph.D. degree in Physics from MIT in 1950. When the Department of Nuclear Engineering at MIT was formed in 1958, David Rose was invited to join the faculty. He went on to lead the development of the Department’s program in plasmas and controlled fusion, and remained a member of the MIT faculty for the rest of his professional career.
Professor Rose's professional life encompassed three distinguished careers: scientist and engineer; technology/policy analyst; and bridge builder between the scientific and theological communities. He authored over 150 articles ranging from high technology to theology, and with Melville Clark wrote Plasmas and Controlled Fusion, which became the standard textbook in the field of fusion energy. Professor Rose's book, Learning About Energy, which drew on two decades of research and teaching on energy technology and policy, was published posthumously. Before joining the MIT faculty, Professor Rose was a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs. While on leave from MIT in the early 1970s he served as the first Director of the Office of Long Range Planning at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. In 1975 Professor Rose received the Arthur Holly Compton Award of the American Nuclear Society for excellence in teaching, and at MIT he was the recipient of the James R. Killian Faculty Achievement Award in 1979-80. In 1986, the Board of Directors of Fusion Power Associates established a prize to be presented annually for excellence in fusion engineering in honor of Professor Rose.
Dr. John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Prior to joining the Obama administration Dr. Holdren was Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, as well as professor in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Director of the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center. From 1973 to 1996 he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources.
Dr. Holdren holds advanced degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford and is highly regarded for his work on energy technology and policy, global climate change, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as foreign member of the Royal Society of London. A former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, his awards include a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the Volvo Environment Prize. He served from 1991 until 2005 as a member of the MacArthur Foundation's board of trustees.
During the Clinton administration Dr. Holdren served as a member of PCAST through both terms and in that capacity chaired studies requested by President Clinton on preventing theft of nuclear materials, disposition of surplus weapon plutonium, the prospects of fusion energy, U.S. energy R&D strategy, and international cooperation on energy-technology innovation. In December 1995 he gave the acceptance lecture for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an international organization of scientists and public figures in which he held leadership positions from 1982 to 1997.
John Holdren, 2010
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
Susan Eisenhower, 2008
President of the Eisenhower Group, Inc
Mohamed El Baradei, 2005
Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency
2005 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
Richard A. Meserve, 2004
President of Carnegie Institution
Evgeny P. Velikhov, 2000
President of Kurchatov Institute
Pete V. Domenici, 1998
Senator of New Mexico
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Energy and Water Development
Albert Carnesale, 1996
Provost of Harvard University
Wolfe Häfele, 1994
Director of the Research Center
D. Allan Bromley, 1992
Science Advisor to the President
Hans Blix, 1989
Secretary General of the IAEA
Photo by Stuart Darsch