Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Arntzen in the spotlight for national science policy, plant biology honors

[Source: Joe Caspermeyer, Biodesign Institute] -- Biodesign Institute researcher Charles Arntzen has been doubly honored by the White House and the American Society of Plant Biologists for his leading role in science policy and lifetime contributions in research and teaching. Arntzen, a Regents’ Professor who also holds the ASU Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair in Plant Biology, has provided expertise and national service since 2001 on the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST). Recently, Arntzen was part of a six-member panel that met with President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman in the Oval Office to present a report on the nation’s future energy needs and new technology options to meet them. Arntzen had contributed to the report’s emphasis on biofuels as an alternative to imported petroleum.

In the report to President Bush, PCAST recommended an increase in federal support for science and technology research and development, noting that many of the advanced technologies described had originated from federally funded research. “PCAST has concluded that of all the emerging technologies studied in this report, biofuels offer the greatest promise for advancing, in the relatively near term, the twin goals of reducing oil dependence and significantly reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector,” according to an excerpt from the report (

The report also included the following overarching recommendations:
  • Promote the Energy Policy Act of 2005 incentives
  • Support state energy initiatives
  • Position the federal government as an early adopter of new technology

In addition, Arntzen has been selected by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) to receive the inaugural Fellow of ASPB Award in 2007. The 2007 Fellow of ASPB Award is granted in: “recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach and professional and public service.” Only a select one of out 500 (0.2 percent) of current ASPB members was eligible for the award. Arntzen will receive the ASPB award in a ceremony in Chicago on Saturday, July 7th.

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