Wednesday, March 24, 2010

UBC Professor Carl Wieman nominated for White House post.

US President Barack Obama has nominated UBC Prof. Carl Wieman for the position of Associate Director of Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. (White House announcement).

Wieman, a 2001Nobel Laureate joined UBC’s Faculty of Science in 2007 as professor of Physics and Director of the $12 million Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) to transform the teaching of science at UBC and elsewhere. He will take an unpaid leave of absence from the university upon confirmation of his appointment by the US Senate.

Wieman came to UBC from the University of Colorado, where he won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics and where he maintains a part-time appointment to head up an education project similar to the CWSEI.

“Carl has a passion for and profound understanding of how science education is essential for an informed and engaged society to deal with the most challenging questions of our time,” said UBC President Prof. Stephen Toope. “In just three years, his teaching and research and methods have touched more than 18,000 UBC students. His work here has attracted attention from around the world, so we are not surprised that President Obama would seek him out for this position.”

Sarah Gilbert, CWSEI Associate Director, will become Acting Director upon Senate confirmation of Wieman’s appointment.

“We are tremendously proud of how the CWSEI is improving the educational experiences of UBC students, and are firmly committed to it, so we are delighted that Sarah Gilbert will step in to advance the initiative in Carl’s absence,” said David Farrar, Provost and Vice President Academic. “We look forward to welcoming Carl back at the completion of his service in Washington.”


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