Dickerson Named Chief Scientific Officer for Consumer Reports


James H. (Jay) Dickerson II, a former postdoctoral research scientist with Prof. Irving Herman in Columbia’s MRSEC and NSEC from 2002 to 2004, currently is the Chief Scientific Officer for Consumer Reports, the world’s preeminent, independent, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world.  Prior to joining Consumer Reports, he was the Assistant Director for the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory and was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Department of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University.

At Consumer Reports (CR), Dickerson is responsible for scientific and technical oversight of all relevant activities within the organization, with a primary focus on product evaluations and interpretation of scientific data in CR’s content, policy, and mobilization initiatives.  As well, he oversees the technical robustness of testing protocol and procedure development along with any associated technological innovations.  His position also consists of externally facing responsibilities, acting as a key explainer of the scientific basis for CR’s work with consumers and as a relationship builder among peer organizations in the scientific community including developing new partnerships.  Further, Dickerson plays a key role in ensuring that CR’s evaluations promote consumer choice and marketplace changes.

Dickerson’s research career investigated emerging techniques for the assembly and deposition of colloidal nanocrystalline materials into thin films and heterostructures, employing dc electric fields to transport and to deposit nanomaterials onto conducting and semiconducting substrates. His research interests also involved the correlation among the size, the arrangement of atoms, and the optical and magnetic properties that are exhibited within nanocrystalline materials, particularly rare earth sesquioxide and rare earth chalcogenide nanocrystals.  This involved the synthesis, electron microscopic characterization, and the physical (optical and magnetic) characterization of a variety of nanomaterials, focusing on europium and gadolinium-based nanocrystals and transition metal oxide nanomaterials.  Dickerson co-edited Electrophoretic Deposition of Nanomaterials (Springer Books), the first comprehensive reference book on the subject, and co-authored Gas Transport in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (Springer Books).

Dickerson has served on the Editorial Board of Materials Letters and as the Chair of the Committee on Minorities of the American Physical Society.  His honors include a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award, and a W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship.

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