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Arntzen earns national acclaim

September 26, 2007

ASU Biodesign Institute researcher Charles Arntzen has been doubly honored by the White House and the American Society of Plant Biologists for his leading role in science policy, and for his lifetime contributions in research and teaching.

Arntzen, a Regents’ Professor who also holds the ASU Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair in Plant Biology, has provided expertise and national service since 2001 on the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Arntzen was part of a six-member panel that met with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman in the Oval Office to present a report on the nation’s energy needs, and new technology options to meet them. Arntzen had contributed to the report’s emphasis on biofuels as an alternative to imported petroleum.

In the report, PCAST recommended an increase in federal support for science and technology research and development, noting that many of the advanced technologies described had originated from federally funded research.

“PCAST has concluded that of all the emerging technologies studied in this report, biofuels offer the greatest promise for advancing, in the relatively near term, the twin goals of reducing oil dependence and significantly reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector,” according to an excerpt from the report.

The report, which can be viewed online at, also included the following overarching recommendations:

• Promote the Energy Policy Act of 2005 incentives.

• Support state energy initiatives.

• Position the federal government as an early adopter of new technology.

In addition, Arntzen was selected by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) to receive the inaugural “Fellow of ASPB” award. The award is granted in “recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach and professional and public service.” Arntzen received the ASPB award in a ceremony in Chicago July 7.