Nobel Laureate Steven Chu Elected as AAAS President-Elect

9 January 2018

Nobel Laureate Steven Chu Elected as AAAS President-Elect

Former U.S. Energy Secretary and OSA Honorary Member will begin a three-year term as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the AAAS Board of Directors


WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA), the leading global professional association in optics and photonics, congratulates Dr. Steven Chu, on being selected as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Dr. Chu, a Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, is an OSA Fellow and Honorary Member.  Chu will start his three-year term as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the AAAS Board of Directors in February 2018.
Dr. Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology in the Medical School at Stanford University, and continues his research work in microscopy. Chu was the first scientist in a U.S. Presidential cabinet and the longest serving U.S. Energy Secretary. Prior to his cabinet post, Chu was the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and held a Professorship in Physics, Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley.

With 10 patents and 260 papers published in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, biomedicine and batteries, Dr. Chu is an accomplished inventor and explorer. In 1997, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for laser cooling and atom trapping. Chu holds 26 Honorary degrees and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Direct from the source of AAAS
“As Secretary of Energy, I was reminded daily that science must continue to be elevated and integrated into our national life and throughout the world. The work of AAAS in connecting science with society, public policy, human rights, education, diplomacy and journalism – through its superb journals and programs – is essential,” said Chu in his candidacy statement.
“Never has there been a more important time than today for AAAS to communicate the advances in science, the methods we use to acquire this knowledge and the benefits of these discoveries to the public and our policymakers,” he said.
Chu cited his role in key reports by National Academies and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on the competitiveness of the U.S. scientific enterprise and the state of fundamental research, studies that “sounded alarms that the health of science, science education and integration of science into public decision-making in the U.S. was in peril and heading in the wrong direction,” he said in his candidacy statement. “Concern among scientists and friends of science is even greater today and we in AAAS have our work cut out for us.”
Looking to hear more from Dr. Steven Chu? Hear his story and the importance of collaboration in science: OSA’s Celebrating All Members.

About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

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