It has been just over five years since Frank Press, a geophysicist of international renown and former science adviser to President Jimmy Carter, was installed as 19th president of the National Academy of Sciences. Press came to the presidency of the 1,800-member Academy with an imposing agenda: to revamp the report-writing process of the National Research Council, to cut personnel and overhead costs, to raise private capital for both the Academy endowment and for special projects, and to disseminate the Academy's findings more widely as part of an effort to better educate the public about science. Born in New York City, Press did his undergraduate work at City University and took his Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia University in 1949. He taught at Columbia and at the California Institute of Technology, and was chairman of the Department of Geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the Carter administration...

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