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Press Statement 11-002

Statement by Subra Suresh, Director of the National Science Foundation, on the Death of John (Jack) Marburger

August 2, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

It is with deep regret that I acknowledge the passing of one of the American science community's unique innovators, John H. (Jack) Marburger, on July 28, 2011. Jack was a strong advocate for the National Science Foundation (NSF) while he served as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a position he held longer than any previous Presidential Science Adviser.

I wish to express my condolences to his surviving family members and all those who were close to him. A well-known physicist, Jack was held in high esteem by his colleagues, and the nation benefited from many of his policy contributions at the White House.

He will especially be remembered at NSF for urging the creation of a new "social science of science and innovation policy" at the 2005 annual Science and Technology Policy Forum of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., to help guide policy-makers in assessing the impact of the nation's significant investment in research and development. Since that time, a Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) community has formed to provide federal and other policy-makers with additional quantitative data and scientifically informed information to help evaluate and guide the nation's science policy. Cross-disciplinary investigators, researchers and experts have come together to examine the effects of culture on institutional effectiveness, the global evolution of technology and a number of other socially pressing issues relevant to science policy. NSF has supported this community with its formal SciSIP program and its National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

We at NSF will help continue Jack's philosophy, with which he characterized his OSTP position: "In a job like this, the most important accomplishment is to make sure that this vast machinery of science continues to move forward and produce the kind of results that have made America strong and great and an exciting place to be a scientist."


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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