When, in April 2009, President Obama told the National Academy of Sciences "we are restoring science to its rightful place," and "the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over," the scientists in the audience, including me, gave him a standing ovation.
The U.S. has spent the last 70 years making massive investments in basic and applied research. The irony is that while the U.S. government has had a robust national science and technology policy, it lacks a national industrial policy.
Carl Wieman, the Nobel-Prize-winning physicist who has been a key science official in the White House since 2010, has resigned from his government post for personal reasons. His departure provides an opportunity to reflect on his contributions in government as well as academia.