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News Release 07-043

Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to Speak on Global Energy Security

Speaker will tie energy security to the "quiet crisis" in the science, engineering and technology workforce

Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Shirley Ann Jackson, president, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

April 19, 2007

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., will speak at the National Science Foundation (NSF) on April 23, 2007, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. on the role of global energy security in addressing what she calls the "quiet crisis" in U.S. science, engineering and technology talent. Jackson says the crisis is affecting the nation's future capacity to lead the world in innovation, especially in key energy fields.

Jackson's talk, entitled "A Leadership Odyssey," is one of a series of distinguished lectures organized by NSF's Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. It is open to the public and the media at the foundation's Arlington, Va. headquarters.

Jackson, who is the first African-American woman to head a major national research university (Rensselaer), believes global energy security is "the space race of this millennium." She has suggested that energy research should be a national focus the same way President John F. Kennedy's post-Sputnik call to action fueled new interest in space science and technology. Jackson says ebbs and flows in science funding across disciplines, looming retirements in science and engineering, and an inadequate number of young people entering the nation's pipeline of new scientists and engineers, taken together, are having a profoundly negative impact on American innovative capacity, against a backdrop of increasing capabilities abroad.

The first woman to chair the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Jackson was recently selected to receive the 2007 Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board for her lifetime of contributions in science, education and public policy.

Who: Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
What: Distinguished lecture, "A Leadership Odyssey," on assuring global energy security, and preparing human talent to address the nation's future needs in innovation
When: Monday, April 23, from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Where: NSF headquarters, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. (Ballston Metro stop, enter building on the corner of 9th and Stuart Streets)

For more information about Shirley Jackson, see

For more information about Jackson's recent selection to receive the Vannevar Bush Award, see


Media Contacts
Bill Noxon, NSF, (540) 672-6656, email:

Program Contacts
Andrew J. Lovinger, NSF, (703) 292-4933, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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