White House Profile
Rick Weiss
Former Communications Chief at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Rick Weiss was the Assistant Director for Strategic Communications and Senior Science and Technology Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.

Previous to joining the Obama Administration, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, where he specialized in science policy and wrote for the online and print journal, Science Progress. Weiss came to CAP from The Washington Post, where he was a science and medical reporter for 15 years. At The Post, he covered a range of topics from medicine and health to engineering and materials science, with a major focus on the ethical, legal, social, political, economic, and public policy implications of scientific advances. He was the lead reporter at The Post on such hot-button issues as cloning and stem cells, agricultural biotechnology, and nanotechnology, and he led coverage of the civil liberties and consumer protection issues raised by the genomics revolution and personalized DNA testing.

Weiss earned a B.S. in biology from Cornell University in 1974, where he conducted research in entomology and agronomy. During the 10 years after that he worked as a licensed medical technologist in hospital laboratories, specializing in microbiology, serology, and blood banking. In 1985 he entered the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a master’s degree in Journalism. In addition to his work at The Post, he has written articles for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Science, Discover, and other publications.

Weiss has won several awards, including the National Association of Science Writers’ Science-in-Society Journalism Award; the Science Journalism Award conferred by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting, conferred by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing; and the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild’s Front Page Award. He contributed a chapter to “Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics and Public Conversation” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) and co-edited (with Jonathan Moreno) “Science Next: Innovation for the Common Good from the Center for American Progress” (Bellevue Literary Press, April 2009).

He lives in Takoma Park, Md., with his wife, New York Times science writer Natalie Angier, and their daughter, Katherine.

Follow the White House Officce of Science and Technology Policy on Twitter @WhiteHouseOSTP.

Rick Weiss's Posts

  • Extended Deadline for Public Access and Digital Data RFIs

    In November, OSTP issued two Requests for Information (RFI), one on open access to scientific publications and the other on the management of digital data. Yesterday, responding to numerous requests, we submitted to the Federal Register an extension of the deadlines for those RFIs to January 12, 2012.


  • Education

    21st Century Learning: A Digital Promise

    Today, the White House and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are announcing the launch of “Digital Promise,” a new national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies to transform teaching and learning.


  • Scientific Integrity Policies Submitted to OSTP

    Federal departments and agencies are making good progress on the development of scientific integrity policies, as initially called for by OSTP director John Holdren in a December 2010 Executive Branch memorandum. Some 19 Federal entities had submitted either draft or final policies as of last week, the deadline Dr. Holdren had set for draft submissions.


  • Education

    Math, Science, and Military Families

    Joining Forces focuses on beefing up science and math education at schools heavily populated by students from military families.


  • Technology

    Big Thanks to Leader of Small Science

    Eight years ago this week, E. Clayton Teague took leave from his position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to take the reins of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office.


  • Education

    Joining Forces: Math, Science, and Military Families

    A new White House initiative, Joining Forces, aimed at supporting and honoring America’s service members and their families, has a component focused on beefing up science and math education at schools heavily populated by students from military families.


  • Civil Rights

    U.S., China Extend Science and Technology Agreement

    Today, in the ornate Secretary of War Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House, OSTP Director John P. Holdren and the Minister of Science and Technology for the People’s Republic of China, Wan Gang, took pens to paper and signed an historic extension to the U.S.-China Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology.


  • Health Care

    PCAST Releases Health IT Report

    Today the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a highly anticipated report providing detailed recommendations to the President and Federal agencies about how to take better advantage of information technology to increase healthcare quality while reducing costs.


  • Energy and Environment

    U.S. Unveils Initiative to Monitor and Manage Forest Carbon Dynamics

    OSTP’s Associate Director for Environment Shere Abbott today announced details of an innovative new U.S.-sponsored program called SilvaCarbon, designed to strengthen global capacity to understand, monitor, and manage forest and terrestrial carbondynamics—an essential element in the effort to combat climate change.


  • Education

    Celebrating Science and Engineering on the National Mall

    OSTP Director John P. Holdren spends the day with an estimated half-a-million visitors at the USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall.


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