MIT dean to be NSF director

Last week, ScienceInsider reported that Subra Suresh, dean of engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be nominated to be the next director of the National Science Foundation.

Despite his membership in the National Academy of Engineering, Suresh is a Washington outsider and is not well known in the national science policy community.  Unlike previous directors who were no longer active scientists, Suresh maintains an active lab that studies nanobiomechanics, including the mechanobiology of malaria infected red blood cells.

Assuming he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Suresh would replace current director Arden Bement, who will leave the NSF on June 1.

One thought on “MIT dean to be NSF director

  1. The new director may be a much more practical and hands-on director than Bement, who was long on fostering theory, “transformative research. and high-flown rhetorict and eager to recruit more of the nation’s valuable science talent into academia where researchers now may write 4 or five proposals for every approved grant – for which money may not be available.

    The peaked, episodic, seek-the fashionable research topic pattern within disciplines is exactly opposite to research that produces practical results – which must seek effective solutions across disciplines and into the marketplace to achieve real resuls. Yet SF continues to reject proposals with applieend element – thereby doing double damage. It maintains the prestige of basic research over applications (continuing the long established stigma) while denying urgently needed support to talent and urgent natioanal needs.

    No other advanced nation pursues this kind of policy which is supported only by ringing pronouncements, not the coninued downward spiral of U.S. manufacturing, technology exports, as well as environmovatione . Check out who the world leaders are – Germany, Scandinavian nations, and Japan.

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