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Presidential Adviser Enlists Photonics

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2002
Photonics' role as a pervasive component technology will make it both a benefactor and beneficiary of federally funded research initiatives under the Bush administration, said John H. Marburger III, science adviser to the President.

In a plenary presentation before approximately 200 Photonics West attendees, Marburger focused especially on technology's potential contribution to health science and to the war on terrorism. Although a priority, homeland security will not trump the administration's support of health science. In fact, he said, President Bush hopes to double the National Institutes of Health budget over a five-year period, which augers well for analytical instruments and components.

The war on terrorism won't result in a Manhattan-Project-style of funding for new technologies, Marburger said, but it will require study of how best to apply established technologies, among them photonics-based sensors, analytical instruments and biometrics.

Photonics, however, shouldn't expect a substantial windfall. Describing science as a frontier of complexity, he said, "It is so vast and so important that it must be managed with care."

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