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ANSI Mourns the Loss of Dr. John H. Marburger III


New York, Aug 03, 2011

John H. Marburger III, Ph.D., former director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and science adviser to President George W. Bush, passed away on July 28 following a battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 70.

A dedicated proponent of science and standardization, Dr. Marburger was awarded the Chairman’s Award from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2007 for his long-standing support of the U.S. private-sector led standards and conformity assessment system. From nanotechnology to biometrics and beyond, Dr. Marburger championed standardization activities at the forefront of scientific frontiers, including the work of the ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel (ANSI-NSP).

“Jack’s contributions to improving the lives of U.S. citizens through scientific advancement and standardization have made an indelible mark on the nation, its citizens, as well as the scientific, academic, and standardization communities,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. “We will remember him fondly as our colleague and our friend. He will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Marburger was the longest tenured presidential science adviser in U.S. history, serving from 2001 to 2009. He is credited with bringing an open, reasoned approach to contentious issues where science intersects with the needs and concerns of society. Prior to his White House appointment, Dr. Marburger served as president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and as director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Under his leadership, the Laboratory commissioned the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and achieved ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management system.

Earlier in his career, he was a professor of physics and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California (USC), chair of the physics department, and dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He also chaired New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s commission on the Shoreham Nuclear Power facility, as well as the 80-campus “Universities Research Association” which operates Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. He served as a trustee of Princeton University and other organizations.

Dr. Marburger returned to Stony Brook as a physics professor in 2009 and became vice president for research in 2010. He remained in this role until a few weeks before his passing.

A memorial service will be held at Stony Brook University on Friday, September 16, 2011.

Read The New York Times obituary for Dr. Marburger.


In lieu of flowers, the Marburger family requests that memorial gifts in Dr. Marburger’s name be directed to the John H. Marburger III Memorial Fund. The Fund will support fellowships for women undertaking graduate study in the physical sciences, engineering or mathematics; fellowships for graduate students in music performance; and the Pollock/Krasner House. Please contact Stony Brook University’s Office of Advancement at 631.632.6300 for information.

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