Jobs

Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 49a
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5731.49a
Hubble's new boss.

Astronomer Mattias “Matt” Mountain has been named director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. The job involves taking responsibility for what may be NASA's highest-profile science missions: overseeing both the Hubble Space Telescope and its planned successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Mountain, 49, is currently director of the Gemini Observatory, which runs twin 8-meter telescopes in Hawaii and Chile.

CREDIT: K. PU'UOHAU-PUMMILL/GEMINI OBSERVATORY

The move is a natural for Mountain, who is the telescope scientist for the 6.5-meter JWST and co-chairs a review of the mission's proposed science program in light of soaring budget estimates (Science, 13 May, p. 935). He must also deal with the merits and costs of extending Hubble's life and bridging the gap between the two missions.

“Matt's experience both with Gemini development and Gemini operations will be a great asset in helping us make that transition,” says outgoing STScI Director Steven Beckwith. “It's going to be quite a challenge,” admits Mountain, who assumes his post on 1 September.

Canadian leave-taking.

The chiefs of Canada's two main science agencies are stepping down from their posts this summer—but on quite different terms.

CREDITS: NSERC; MARTIN LIPMAN/LIPMAN STILL PICTURES

Thomas Brzustowski (left), president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, is departing voluntarily for academia after consecutive 5-year terms. The 68-year-old aeronautical engineer says his departure shouldn't affect a strategic planning exercise that the agency hopes will result in a doubling of its budget: “This isn't a one-man show.”

By contrast, Marc Renaud (right), was denied a chance to serve a decade as president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and to resolve an imbroglio over the council's strategic direction. Some Liberal Party sources attribute the decision to the government's displeasure over Renaud's criticism of its research funding policies. “I was frustrated, but now I'm thinking it was a blessing because it forces me to reposition myself before I'm 60,” says the 59-year-old sociologist, who had taken office in 1997. Replacements have yet to be named.

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