On June 1, the Office of Science and Technology Policy confirmed that Nobel prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman would be stepping down as the associate director for science. Weiner has been a leading science education advocate since joining the OSTP in 2010.
After winning the Nobel Prize in 2001 for the creation of the first Bose-Einstein condensate, Wieman switched gears to instead study science education. In 2007, he established the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia, which focused on the quantitative assessment of undergraduate science education. Wieman has been a vocal proponent of the use of interactive instruction methods in the classroom, such as “clickers” that let students answer multiple-choice questions and reveal their answers to the teacher.
Wieman cited “personal reasons” for his departure. It is unknown whether he will return to his previous positions in academia.
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Julie McClure (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the science policy fellow at ASBMB.