John Gibbons (b. 1929) explores both the limiting and the liberating influences of government on technological research and development, addressing the broad issue of the government’s role in supporting, advocating, and directing technological advancement. Gibbons also brings into focus specific areas where science and government join forces in the service of society. He provides the audience with a provocative, behind-the-scenes look at national science and technology initiatives since 1972, and charts the changing public and political attitudes that shaped those initiatives.
After studying in the United States, Oscar Arias Sánchez (b. 1940) studied law and economics at the University of Costa Rica and engaged actively in the work of the National Liberation Party. Having completed his degree, he went on to finish his doctorate in England, with a thesis on the subject of “Who Rules Costa Rica?”
Robert M. White advises on environment, energy, and climate change, and development and management of organizations and research programs. Dr. White was President of the National Academy of Engineering from 1983 to 1995. Prior to that, he was President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and has served in scientific leadership positions under five U.S. Presidents.
Dr. Armstrong holds the AB in physics from Harvard College (1956) and the PhD (1961) from Harvard University for research in nuclear magnetic resonance at high pressures. He worked at IBM from 1963 to 1993, retiring as a member of the Corporate Management Board and Vice President, Science and Technology. Dr. Armstrong is internationally recognized as an expert in nonlinear optics, the statistical properties of laser light, picosecond pulse measurements and the multiphoton laser spectroscopy of atoms.