Frank Press, the 1980 Bowie medalist, will not return to Massachusetts Institute of Technology from his present post as presidential science advisor, at least not before serving one or two 6-year terms as president of the National Academy of Sciences, succeeding Philip Handler. As reported in Science (Oct. 3, p. 24), Frank Press is the NAS nominee, and will become president, pending approval of the full NAS membership.
The move from White House science advisor to the academy is an apolitical one for Press; he accepted the job with President Carter for one term only. There are, however, a few minor, but nagging concerns that involve the connection between the two posts. Press' image has been that of an effective and urbane advisor to the president. He has not issued the vociferous and shrill cries of the liberal college professor who has a cause to promote or a social injustice to correct. Instead he has supported the president and, in thus serving, has represented the science community well. For those who would rather see the presidential science advisor as an advocate or as a respondent to congressional demands, Press may have appeared low-key. His effectiveness as president of the Academy may have the same basis; he may not have the outspoken controversial posture of his predecessor.