AASF Sponsored Webinar: The Contributions of Asian Americans in U.S. Science and Engineering

February 25, 2022

Speaker: Prof. Steven Chu
Nobel Laureate and the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy, Stanford University


Asian Americans have played a major role in contributing to the scientific and engineering excellence in the United States both in academia and industry. In addition to discussing some of these contributions, I will discuss the rising international competition and the theft of intellectual property, particularly from China. The response includes increased scrutiny of academic scholars with familial, academic and/or business ties with China. The most constructive reaction of the U.S. government in the protection of our national security and business interests would be to increase the support of science technology and STEM education, and redouble our efforts to attract and retain the best foreign talent. Unfortunately, the response which has similarities to McCarthyism and fear of the Soviet Union. Our reaction is having a palling effect on the atmosphere in our research institutions, destroying our ability to attract the very best STEM students from China, and is driving away outstanding immigrant scientists and engineers who have made substantial contributions to the intellectual property we seek to protect. In addition to jeopardizing our future long-term technical leadership that has been a cornerstone of U.S. prosperity, our reputation as a free, open, accepting and just society is at risk.

Prof. Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., professor of Physics, and professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. He has published in atomic, polymer and biophysics, molecular biology, ultrasound imaging, nano-materials science, batteries and other clean energy technologies. Previously he was U.S. Secretary of Energy, where he began ARPA-E, the Energy Innovation Hubs and was personally tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. Previously, he director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Physics and of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, where he helped launch Bio-X, a multi-disciplinary institute combining the physical and biological sciences with medicine and engineering, and head of the Quantum Electronics Department at Bell Laboratories. He was past president and chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, served on the Senior Advisory Committee to the Directors of the National Institutes of Health and National Nuclear Security Agency. He was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for laser cooling and trapping of atoms, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and 8 foreign Academies. He received an A.B. degree in mathematics and a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Rochester, a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and 32 honorary degrees.