Dr. John Harmen Marburger III, Vice President for Research and Professor of Physics
|John H. Marburger, III, a University Professor in the departments of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, served as Science Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) during the George W. Bush Administration (2001-2009). Prior to his federal service, he was Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1998, and the third President of Stony Brook University (1980-1994). He came to Long Island in 1980 from the University of Southern California where he had been a Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, serving consecutively as Physics Department Chairman and Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in the 1970’s.|
|Professor Marburger was born on Staten Island, N.Y., grew up in Maryland near Washington D.C. and attended Princeton University (A.B. Physics 1962) and Stanford University (Ph.D. Applied Physics 1967). He is married to the former Carol Godfrey and lives in Port Jefferson, New York.|
While at the University of Southern California, Marburger contributed as a theoretical physicist to the rapidly growing fields of nonlinear optics and quantum optics, subjects transformed by the invention of the laser in 1960. He was a co-founder of the University's Center for Laser Studies, a consultant at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory on high power laser phenomena, and a frequent public speaker on science, hosting a series of educational programs called “Frontiers of Electronics” on CBS television.
Marburger’s presidency at Stony Brook coincided with the opening and growth of University Hospital and the development of the biological sciences as a major strength of the university. During the 1980’s federally sponsored scientific research at Stony Brook grew to exceed that of any other public university in the northeastern United States.
During his presidency, Marburger served on numerous boards and committees, including chairmanship of the governor’s commission on the Shoreham Nuclear Power facility, and chairmanship of the 80 campus “Universities Research Association” which operates Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and operated the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory during the lifetime of that project. He served as a trustee of Princeton University and a trustee or director of many other organizations.
Marburger was the first president of Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership of the State University Research Foundation and Battelle Memorial Institute that successfully bid to operate Brookhaven National Laboratory under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (1997). Under Marburger's Directorship, the Laboratory commissioned the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), achieved ISO14001 certification of the laboratory's environmental management system, and significantly improved support for the Laboratory by the surrounding community.
Marburger's tenure as the President's Science Advisor, the longest in history, began immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and included major policy initiatives associated with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, re-orientation of the nation's space policy following the crash of the Columbia space shuttle in 2003, the U.S. re-entry in the international nuclear fusion program ITER, and the American Competitiveness Initiative that aimed to double federal funding for the physical sciences and engineering. He and senior OSTP officials led U.S. delegations to critical international negotiating meetings on internet governance, telecommunications spectrum allocations, and climate change including the influential summary reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, securing Administration support for the reports as a foundation for subsequent Administration policymaking. Serving during a time of deep political and ideological divisions, especially regarding climate change and human embryonic stem cell research, Marburger brought high standards of fairness and objectivity to the science policy process, and launched a movement to strengthen the "science of science policy" that achieved international recognition.
Professor Marburger's current research centers on physical systems that display quantum properties of possible importance in a future quantum information technology.