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Policy

Chemist among State Department's first science diplomacy fellows

May 31, 2004 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 82, ISSUE 22

Powell
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Credit: STATE DEPARTMENT PHOTO
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Credit: STATE DEPARTMENT PHOTO

Chemist George H. Atkinson, science and technology adviser to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, has announced the department’s first Jefferson Science Fellows, named for the first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson. All five fellows are tenured professors, and one, Bruce A. Averill, is a chemist at the University of Toledo, in Ohio. The fellows will spend one year at the State Department advising policy officials on the scientific and technical implications of such issues as global warming, nonproliferation, and genetically modified foods. They will then return to their respective institutions but remain available to the department as consultants for five years. In welcoming the fellows, Powell, who holds a B.S. in geology, said his department would “benefit from the counsel and expertise of the tenured academic scientists.” In turn, he said, the fellows would “see how science and statecraft work together to improve the lives of people around the world.” They would also “take their experiences with them back into our nation’s classrooms and laboratories,” Powell said. Atkinson noted that the department’s bureaus, embassies, and missions have developed 25 work packages for the fellows to select from, and Averill tells C&EN that he will likely choose one dealing with the European Union. He held an academic appointment at the University of Amsterdam from 1994 to 2001. In a related matter, ACS will announce its first science and diplomacy fellow in early summer.

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