Irvine, Calif., June 15, 2004 -- Ralph J. Cicerone, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine since 1998, has been nominated as the next president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Academy has announced. Cicerone's nomination, which was unanimously approved by the NAS Council, precedes an election in late 2004. The new president will take office in July 2005.
"It is an enormous honor to be nominated for the presidency of the Academy," Cicerone said. "The importance of science and technology to the United States and the world has never been greater, and I look forward to serving if I am elected."
Cicerone, the third UC affiliate to serve as NAS president, would succeed current president Bruce Alberts, a cellular biologist on the faculty of UC San Francisco. Cicerone will continue to serve as UCI chancellor through the 2004-05 academic year.
Chartered by Congress in 1863, the Academy is a private, non-profit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and their use for the general welfare. Members and foreign associates of the Academy are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research; election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer.
At UCI, Cicerone holds the Daniel G. Aldrich, Jr. Chair in Earth System Science. He also is founding chair of the Department of Earth System Science and a professor of chemistry. He served as dean of the School of Physical Sciences from 1994 to 1998. Cicerone was elected to NAS in 1990 and also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. His research has been recognized by the American Geophysical Union's MacElwane and Roger Revelle Medals, by the Franklin Institute's Bower Prize and Medal for Achievement in Science and by the United Nations. He has conducted theoretical and experimental research on the plasma physics of Earth's ionosphere, the chemistry of the ozone layer, radiative forcing of climate change by greenhouse gases, and sources of atmospheric methane and methyl halide gases.
"Ralph Cicerone is one of the world's most highly acclaimed atmospheric scientists, and his rise to the presidency of the National Academy of Sciences is a richly deserved acknowledgement of his talents as a scientist and leader," said UC President Robert C. Dynes. "I am, of course, disappointed at the prospect of losing Ralph as chancellor at UCI, where he has led with skill and distinction, further building the campus's reputation for high-quality academic programs and cutting-edge scientific inquiry. At the same time, I am delighted for the American scientific community as a whole, which will gain substantially from his service as president of the NAS."
"It has been my privilege to serve as UCI chancellor for the past six years under UC Presidents Richard Atkinson and Robert Dynes, who are friends and fellow NAS members, and to work closely with our faculty, staff, students and campus friends," Cicerone said. "Over the last 15 years, UCI has been home to my wife, Carol, and me. We look forward to continuing to advance UCI and UCI Medical Center in the coming months before July 2005."
The National Academy of Sciences has about 2,000 members and 350 foreign associates, more than 190 of whom have won Nobel Prizes. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council (NRC) comprise the National Academies, which bring together committees of experts to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public. The NAS president is a full-time employee of the organization, located at the Academy's headquarters in Washington, D.C., and is also the chair of the NRC.
The NRC issues about 250 reports per year on subjects as varied as medical care, astronomy, the environment, transportation, materials science, behavioral sciences, education and engineering, and employs 1,200 people. The NRC maintains centers in Washington, Woods Hole, Mass. and at the Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif.
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with approximately 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,300 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.
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