Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Bassam Z. Shakhashiri is the first holder of the William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea at UW-Madison. He is well known internationally for his effective leadership in promoting excellence in science education at all levels, and for his development and use of demonstrations in the teaching of chemistry in classrooms and in less formal settings, such as museums, convention centers, shopping malls and retirement homes. From 1984 to 1990 Professor Shakhashiri served as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Science and Engineering Education, (now called Education and Human Resources) and presided over the rebuilding of all the NSF efforts in science and engineering education after they had been essentially eliminated in the early 1980’s. His leadership and effectiveness in developing and implementing national programs in science and engineering education have helped set the annual NSF education budget at its current level of nearly $900 million. His NSF strategic plan launched the systemic initiatives and many of the other NSF education programs of the last three decades. Professor Shakhashiri served as 2012 President of the American Chemical Society, formed the ACS Presidential Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences, the ACS Climate Science Working Group, and the ACS Global Water Initiative Working Group. He believes it is not enough for us to be just scientists; we have a responsibility to be citizens as well. As scientist-citizens we must use our skills and adhere to high values and virtues to fulfill our obligations for the benefit of Earth and its people. His website is www.scifun.org.