chair of the NASA Science Advisory Committee for Gravity Probe B. He served as chair of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Gravitation and is currently the president of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. Dr. Will is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Science.

MICHAEL S. WITHERELL is vice chancellor for research and a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is an experimental particle physicist and a former director of Fermilab. He pioneered the development of silicon-strip detector technology, using it to perform precise studies of the production and decay of particles that carry the charm quark. Dr. Witherell served on the NRC Committee on Elementary Particle Physics.

EDWARD L. WRIGHT is a professor of astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Wright’s research interests are in theoretical and experimental infrared astronomy and cosmology, especially cosmic microwave background radiation studies. He played a major role on the NASA Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission, and in 1992 he received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for this work. He is a co-investigator on NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, a mission that is a follow-up to the COBE discovery of fluctuations in the early universe. Dr. Wright participated in the Joint Efficient Dark-energy Investigation, and he is an interdisciplinary scientist on the NASA Space Infrared Telescope Facility (now the Spitzer Space Telescope) Science Working Group. His NRC experience includes membership on the Panel on Ultraviolet, Optical, and Infrared Astronomy from Space; the Committee on Physics of the Universe; and the Panel on Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Committee on Priorities for Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion. Dr. Wright is the principal investigator for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer MidEx mission to be launched in 2009.


MARCIA S. SMITH is the director of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. Prior to joining the NRC in March 2006, Ms. Smith was a senior level specialist in aerospace and telecommunications policy for the Resources, Science, and Industry Division of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. She had been with CRS since 1975, serving as a policy analyst for the members and committees of the U.S. Congress on matters concerning U.S. and foreign military and civilian space activities, and on telecommunications issues including the Internet (and formerly on nuclear energy). From 1985-1986, Ms. Smith took a leave of absence to serve as executive director of the U.S. National Commission on Space. Ms. Smith is the North American editor for the quarterly journal Space Policy. She is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Astronautical Society (president, 1985-1986), and the British Interplanetary Society. She was awarded the AAS John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award in 2006. She was a founder of Women in Aerospace (WIA), its president (1987), a member of its board of directors (1984-1990), and was awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. She is also a member of the International Institute of Space Law and the International Academy of Astronautics, and she is a life member of the New York Academy of Sciences and of the Washington Academy of Sciences. She is a member of Sigma Xi. She was a member of the NRC Committee on Human Exploration (1992-1993 and 1996-1997). A graduate of Syracuse University, Ms. Smith is the author or co-author of more than 220 reports and articles on space, nuclear energy, and telecommunications and Internet issues.

DONALD C. SHAPERO is director of the Board on Physics and Astronomy. He received a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1964 and a Ph.D. from MIT in 1970. His thesis addressed the asymptotic behavior of relativistic quantum field theories. After receiving the Ph.D., he became a Thomas J. Watson Postdoctoral Fellow at IBM. He subsequently became an assistant professor at American University, later moving to Catholic University, and then joining the staff of the NRC in 1975. Dr. Shapero took a leave of

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement