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Purcell, Kistiakowsky Join White House Staff


Two faculty members will serve on the President's Science and Advisory Committee, the White House announced over the weekend.

Nobel prize-winner Edward M. Purcell and Russian-born chemist George B. Kistiakowsky were added to the committee which is now directly responsible to the President on "problems of national policy involving science and technology."

Until Friday the committee had been an adjunct of the Office of Defense Mobilization. The transfer to the Executive Office is designed to bring about a closer relationship between the Committee and James R. Killian, Jr., the President's special assistant for science and technology.

Both Kistiakowsky, Abbot and James Lawrence Professor of Chemistry, and Purcell, professor of Physics, said last night that they had received little specific information on what the activities of the expanded committee would be.

They agreed, however, that the most pressing problem was to improve the level of science teaching and to recruit highly qualified students.

Kistiakowsky stated that he felt the University should attract more students in the scientific fields. At present about one-third of the students in the college major in the area of Natural Sciences.

He also called for increases in salaries for science teachers, whom he termed "shockingly underpaid," and said that he considered some form of Federal subsidy to salaries to be feasible.

Purcell emphasized that he felt the basic problem in scientific education lies in secondary school instruction. He said that he did not advocate increasing the number of science concentrators in the College.

Both Purcell and Kistiakowsky have been associated with missile development. Kistiakowsky has served on the von Neumann Committee since it was formed in 1953, and Purcell has served since 1947 as a scientific adviser to the Air Force.

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