Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry, professor of physics, and director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology at the California Institute of Technology passed away on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Dr. Zewail was the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work in femtoscience.
Dr. Zewail served as one of the initial members of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology from 2009 through the end of the first term in early 2013. PCAST colleagues remember him as a keen contributor of insights on topics ranging from the need for increased investments in fundamental research, to science and math education, to the potential of cooperation in science and technology to advance economic development and political stability around the world. Pursuing this last passion, Dr. Zewail was the first Presidential Science Envoy to the Muslim world, making multiple trips to the Middle East to build collaboration in science and science education.
“As congenial as he was brilliant, he will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of working with him,” says Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Diana Pankevich is the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.