Speaker Coughlin Appoints Physicist to Panel Key to Boosting NJ’s Middle-Class
(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has named Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, a physicist, to chair the newly created Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, which Coughlin intends to make a key part of the Assembly’s efforts to create jobs and economic development and boost the middle-class.
“We must look for ways to make our state vibrant, such as focusing on our science and innovation ecosystem as a source of jobs and economic development for our state,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “I created the new Science, Innovation and Technology Committee to enable New Jersey to take advantage of our location and human capital, and I consider New Jersey fortunate to have Andrew Zwicker to chair it. I can think of no more perfect fit than Andrew Zwicker with science and technology. I’m excited to see Andrew use his vast expertise, smarts and leadership, but even more excited to see the results of his vital work in the months and years ahead.”
Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset) is the Head of Science Education at the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory, where he has worked with hundreds of teachers and students, inspiring professionals and the next generation in the promise of technology. The American Association of Physics Teachers named him as one of the country’s top 75 Leading Contributors to physics education.
Zwicker was for many years an academic advisor at Princeton University, a part-time lecturer in the Princeton University Writing Program and the President of the Princeton Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
He was also the editor for the newsletter, Physics and Society, a publication from the American Physical Society where he is also a Fellow.
Zwicker has a B.A. in physics from Bard College, and a M.A. and Ph.D., both also in physics, from Johns Hopkins University. His post-doctoral work focused on fusion energy research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and internationally.
Currently, Zwicker is on the Board of Directors of the Research and Development Council of NJ, Vice-Chair of the NJ Biotechnology Task Force, and a member of the NJ Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. Zwicker is serving his second term in the Assembly, representing the 16th Legislative District.
“I thank Speaker Coughlin for this appointment and am thrilled at this committee’s potential for helping build a better and stronger New Jersey,” Zwicker said. “Science and technology are my passion and my profession, but they’re also key to our economic and academic future. We’ve seen elected officials in Washington put politics ahead of science, while other countries make innovation a top priority. We’ve seen other states outpace New Jersey, despite our state’s science and technology legacy. None of this is acceptable.”
Zwicker added, “New Jersey must capitalize on its competitive advantage. We need initiatives that support world-class science and technology industries, and the vision to harness our assets to make our state a national leader in the science and technology economy. We have no choice but to embrace this opportunity, and I look forward to leading this committee, working with my colleagues and finding new and innovative solutions to boost our economy.”