Photo of David Allan Bromley

David Allan Bromley

  • National Medal of Science
  • Physical Sciences

For seminal work on nuclear molecules, for development of tandem accelerators and semiconductor detectors for charged particles, for his contributions to particle-gamma correlation studies, and for his role in founding the field of precision heavy-ion physics.

Though he spent the first 17 years of his life on a farm without electricity or plumbing, physicist David Allan Bromley went on to achieve great success in the scientific community.

In 1989, Bromley become the first cabinet-level Science Advisor to the President of the United States. He was later appointed by the Senate as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Bromley’s love for science started early. His high school teachers gave him free reign to study physics and chemistry independently. They also provided him with laboratory equipment, which led to more than a few accidents.

Though he was born in Canada, Bromley unexpectedly became a United States citizen in 1970 while meeting with the directors of the Atomic Energy Commission in Nevada.

During the meeting, Bromley was taught how to trigger a hydrogen bomb before the party realized he was not a citizen. The group called for a judge immediately and Bromley was sworn in that same day.

By Rachel Warren