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Brown is new science dean

Gene M. Brown, new dean of the School of Science, said he plans no immediate changes in the policies of his predecessor, John M. Deutch '61.

Brown, head of the Department of Biology since 1977, became dean when Deutch became provost July 1.

Brown agrees with the faculty's decision not to continue to allow General Biology (7.01) to fulfill the Institute's chemistry requirement but also has an "open mind" regarding a new biology requirement. Brown stressed that he would not support the institution of such a requirement, unless another one still existing was eliminated.

The new dean would like to see "the development of a new course or courses for the appreciation of modern biological science," including molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics.

Brown said he supports the growth of industry-sponsored research in the school. "MIT ought to be flexible enough to make agreements with industry," he said. "MIT must be careful to maintain the integrity of the researcher," he cautioned.

"We've developed guidelines for this. We have to consider it on a case-by-case basis," he continued. "We're always looking for a good possibility."

Brown said he expects to be an active dean, particularly in the area of undergraduate education.

His primary goal is to continue "the high quality of research, faculty and students in the School of Science," he said, warning that there must be no complacency.

Publicizing the school's strengths is another priority for Brown. The new dean said he supports "anything that can be done to bring [the school] to the attention of students and guidance counselors."

Few prospective students knew there even was a Biology Department at MIT, "much less that it's the best one in the country," Brown said. While he was head of Biology, the department sent out thousands of pamphlets to encourage prospective students to consider it, Brown said. "That could be done for the other departments."

Brown will now chair the Science Council, comprised of the school's department heads. The council makes school-wide policy decisions, and promotes and appoints faculty members. The school consists of the Departments of Biology; Chemistry; Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Mathematics; Applied Biological Sciences; and Physics.

The Department of Biology will probably have a new head by the first of August, Brown said.

Brown has been at MIT since 1954. His research has focused on "the methylation of nucleic acids and the isolation, biosynthesis and function of vitamins, coenzymes and related substances," according to a statement from the MIT News Office.

Brown said he will continue teaching General Biochemistry (7.05).

MIT appointed Brown assistant professor of biochemistry in 1956, associate professor in 1961 and professor in 1967. He was Biology Department executive officer from 1967 to 1972. He served as associate head of the department from 1972 to 1977, when he was named department head.

Brown received a BS in chemistry from Colorado A&M College in 1946. He did his graduate work in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, earning an MS in 1950 and a PhD three years later. He served one year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas.