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John Henry Scott - How the Sausage is Made

How the Sausage is Made:
A Microanalyst's Time in the White House

 

John Henry Scott

John Henry Scott
NIST
Gaithersburg, MD

 

Abstract
From late 2007 until 2009 I served as Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the White House, a non-political position that gave me a very different view of the federal science and technology enterprise than the one I developed as a microanalyst working at NIST. As part of the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, my portfolio covered the DOE Office of Science, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences at NSF.

During this talk I will describe the basics of the federal science budget process and how the White House helps to coordinate the efforts of many agencies with science and technology roles. Because of the emphasis on government transparency, much of this process is open to public inspection almost in real time -- if you know where to look. In addition to explaining the relevance of this process to the practicing scientist, engineer, or technologist, I will also explain how to learn more and discuss the many opportunities for scientists to participate in the process of informing policy decisions in your field. To lighten things up, I will include anecdotes, photos, and some fun facts about life inside the White House complex, including the exciting times surrounding a transition from one administration to the next.

Biography
John Henry is a Physicist at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD. He holds a BS and PhD in Physics from Caltech and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins. His research interests include chemical characterization at the nanoscale using EDS and EELS, FIB, and multivariate statistical analysis. His microanalysis work has focused on applications in semiconductor, metals, inorganic nanoparticles, and the life sciences. He currently serves as the MAS Past-President and has previously served as MAS Director (2004-2006) and M&M Program Chair (2008). He has been an instructor at the Lehigh Microscopy School since 2000, has co-organized M&M symposia on various topics including advanced x-ray spectrometry, tomography in the physical and biological sciences, and chemical imaging, and co-organized the 2003 MAS Topical Conference on Hyperspectral Imaging.

John Henry received the Dept of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2007 for exceptional innovation in chemical and dimensional metrology at the nanoscale, and the Dept of Commerce Gold Medal in 2010 for distinguished achievement in the measurement science of nuclear non-proliferation. From late 2007 until 2009 John Henry served as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Executive Office of the President during both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.


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