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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

JAMES C. LANCASTER is the director of the BPA and acting director of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board. He joined the BPA as a program officer in 2008 and has been responsible staff officer for a number of studies, including the decadal survey on nuclear physics—Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of the Matter, An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences, Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology, and Selling the Nation’s Helium Reserve. Prior to joining the BPA, Dr. Lancaster served on faculty at Rice University, where he taught introductory physics to science and engineering students, and as a staff researcher, where he participated in experimental investigations of the interactions of highly excited atoms with electromagnetic pulses and surfaces. In addition to his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Rice University, Dr. Lancaster holds a B.A degree in economics from Rice University and a J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Prior to entering the field of physics, Dr. Lancaster practiced law for more than 12 years, specializing in the financial structuring and restructuring of businesses.


GREG MACK made his career transition from academia to science policy almost 6 years ago. Following his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics at Ohio State in 2008, he was a visiting assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Ohio Wesleyan University for 4 years. Realizing he wanted to focus more on science policy, especially regarding communicating the importance of science to the public and policymakers, he applied for and was awarded a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship where he was placed in the National Science Foundation Division of Physics in the fall of 2013. In that role he worked on ways to improve the communication of physics and science by NSF and assisted with the proposal review process, and went on to serve in a short term position as a Program Director in the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences. In January 2016, he took on a different role with science policy and the physics community at the American Physical Society, where he managed all grassroots advocacy efforts for APS and interacted frequently with Capitol Hill. He is excited to be at the National Academies and to get back to more of the scientific specifics of physics and astronomy while still looking at the bigger picture of national science policy.