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White House Author

Rick Weiss

Former Communications Chief at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Rick Weiss was the Assistant Director for Strategic Communications and Senior Science and Technology Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.

Previous to joining the Obama Administration, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, where he specialized in science policy and wrote for the online and print journal, Science Progress. Weiss came to CAP from The Washington Post, where he was a science and medical reporter for 15 years. At The Post, he covered a range of topics from medicine and health to engineering and materials science, with a major focus on the ethical, legal, social, political, economic, and public policy implications of scientific advances. He was the lead reporter at The Post on such hot-button issues as cloning and stem cells, agricultural biotechnology, and nanotechnology, and he led coverage of the civil liberties and consumer protection issues raised by the genomics revolution and personalized DNA testing.

Weiss earned a B.S. in biology from Cornell University in 1974, where he conducted research in entomology and agronomy. During the 10 years after that he worked as a licensed medical technologist in hospital laboratories, specializing in microbiology, serology, and blood banking. In 1985 he entered the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a master’s degree in Journalism. In addition to his work at The Post, he has written articles for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Science, Discover, and other publications.

Weiss has won several awards, including the National Association of Science Writers’ Science-in-Society Journalism Award; the Science Journalism Award conferred by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting, conferred by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing; and the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild’s Front Page Award. He contributed a chapter to “Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics and Public Conversation” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) and co-edited (with Jonathan Moreno) “Science Next: Innovation for the Common Good from the Center for American Progress” (Bellevue Literary Press, April 2009).

He lives in Takoma Park, Md., with his wife, New York Times science writer Natalie Angier, and their daughter, Katherine.

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