01 August 2011

John H. Marburger: 1941-2011

John H. "Jack" Marburger, known best for his role as science advisor to George W. Bush, died last week at age 70. Above, you can see a video of Dr. Marburger speaking in our Science Advisors series in 2005. The video is followed by an on-stage interview that I conducted with him. We had our largest audience of the series that night with over 500 people in attendance. I distinctly remember the audience mood turning from being somewhat overtly hostile to Dr. Marburger to confusion and even appreciation, as he explained that he was a Democrat, saw evolution as beyond debate and expressed support for action on climate change.

Since that time I had a chance to collaborate a bit with Dr. Marburger, working with him up to the past few weeks on a forthcoming paper in a special journal issue on the "science of science policy." Dr. Marburger had a long and distinguished career and will be remembered for many reasons. One that stands out is his interest in stimulating rigorous research in science and technology policy.  A 2005 commentary that he published in Science provided the motivation for a new generation of research in the "science of science policy."

He was also a generous and decent person. He will be missed.