Arthur Bienenstock, a past president of the American Physical Society, is special assistant to the president for federal research policy at Stanford University. At Stanford, he also is director of the Wallenberg Research Link and a professor at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and in the departments of applied physics and materials science and engineering. He was vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy during the period September 2003 to November 2006. From September 2002 to September 2003, he also served as the director of the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials.
From November 1997 through January 2001, while on leave from Stanford, he was the associate director for science of the White House Office and Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). At OSTP, Bienenstock sought to gain general recognition of the interdependencies of the sciences and the need for the country to maintain broad scientific and technological strength. He also sought to ensure that the United States has a scientific and technological workforce, at all levels, to meets the nation's 21st century needs. He led a task force on the government-university research partnership aimed at strengthening the relationship, and championed an interagency educational research initiative to fund large-scale, interdisciplinary research on teaching and learning.
For the 20 years prior to his joining OSTP, Bienenstock directed the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, leading SSRL's transition from a scientific project to a major facility. Prior to that, he served as Stanford's first faculty affirmative action officer and as vice provost for faculty affairs. From 1963 to 1967, he was on the faculty of Harvard University's division of engineering and applied physics.
Throughout the 1963 to 1997 period, he maintained an active research group in the general areas of solid-state physics, amorphous materials, and synchrotron radiation. He has published over 100 scientific papers in these areas.
Bienenstock received a B.S. (1955) and an M.S. (1957) degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1962. In addition, he was a recipient of a Ph.D. (honorary) from Polytechnic University in 1997 and from Lund University in June, 2006.
In 1968, Bienenstock was the first recipient of the Pittsburgh Diffraction Society's Sidhu Award for his work in x-ray diffraction and crystallography. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Polytechnic Institute of New York Alumni Association in 1977, the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Energy in 1998, and the Cuthbertson Award from Stanford University in 2009. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Physics, and of the California Council on Science and Technology.