Rice University

Events at Rice

Lecture/Lecture Series

Physics & Astronomy
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

Speaker: France A. Córdova
National Science Foundation


Monday, April 10, 2017
6:00 PM  to 8:00 PM

Baker Institute Commons  Baker Hall
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

The National Science Foundation’s extensive and long-standing interactions with the Science & Engineering community have always provided a continuous stream of leading-edge ideas that have enabled scientists to make new discoveries and engineers to make new inventions and approaches. With community input in mind, the NSF leadership team undertook an extensive planning exercise, with a ten-year horizon, asking what are the frontiers for future investment? The result has been 10 Big Ideas (among them: the New Era of Multi-messenger Astrophysics, Understanding the Rules of Life, Enabling the Next Quantum Leap, Harnessing the Data Revolution, Navigating the New Arctic, and The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier). Many of the ideas cut across disciplinary boundaries and require new methods, new approaches, and new talent.

Biography of France A. Córdova:

France A. Córdova, was sworn in as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2014. Nominated by President Barack Obama to head the $7.2-billion independent federal agency, Córdova leads the only government science agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, where she served as president. She led the University of California, Riverside, as chancellor and was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. Córdova was the vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1996 to 2002. From 1993 to 1996, Córdova served as NASA's chief scientist. Córdova was deputy group leader in the Earth and space sciences division at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1988 to 1989. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and her doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979.

Córdova's scientific contributions have been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation. She is a recipient of NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and was recognized as a Kilby Laureate in 2000. Córdova was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a National Associate of the National Academies. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Women In Science (AWIS).

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