These are challenging times for science. Discoverers and their discoveries are not trusted by a big chunk of the population. From climate change to pandemics, science is increasingly viewed as a special interest just like any other.
This blog is my personal pushback against that notion. I’ve spent a lifetime in science. First with scientist parents, and then practicing and leading the endeavor. I’ve never been more convinced that science is magnificent and even sometimes life-giving. When I started with this project in 2005, I wanted this space to support the transparency of my science leadership. Now, well into the second decade of the 21st century, the urgency of this project is manifest by the set of existential and wicked problems that face our nation and the globe at large.
Jim Olds is University Professor of Neuroscience and Public Policy at George Mason University. He served from 2014-2018 as head of the Biological Sciences Directorate at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Olds’ former directorate funds the majority of non-biomedical research at America’s research institutions. While there, he was also NSF lead for President Obama’s White House BRAIN project, deputy lead for NSF on then Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot and co-chaired the White House Life Sciences Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council. Prior to his time at NSF, Olds was the the 10th editor of The Biological Bulletin, Director of George Mason University’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, Chair of the Molecular Neuroscience Department and the Shelley Krasnow University Professor of Molecular Neuroscience. Olds received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Michigan and his BA in chemistry from Amherst College.