Congress will continue to support science research, but it is increasingly important for scientists to speak out so the public understands the critically important work they do, said Neal Lane, director of the National Science Foundation.
Lane was on campus Dec. 5 meeting with science and engineering faculty. He was also treated to demonstrations on the digital library project, distributed intelligence and the chemistry consortium's integration of research and education.
"They were all extraordinary," he said, adding that that is what one expects of Berkeley.
NSF is an independent federal agency that funds research and education in science, math and engineering. It has an annual budget of about $300 billion. Berkeley is the largest single recipient of NSF funds, averaging around $50 million a year.
Lane said he is particularly interested in work Berkeley is doing in distributed intelligence and in integrating research and education.
"Increasing the use of technology so anyone of us can sort our way through the spaghetti of information and find real knowledge" is the aim of distributed intelligence, he said.
Creative use of technology is also the key in integrating education and research at all levels of learning.
Lane concluded his Bay Area visit with a Dec. 6 speech before the Commonwealth Club.