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Charles Vest Dies

Charles Vest, the former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and science advocate, has died, ScienceInsider reports. He was 72.

Vest served as president at MIT from 1990 to 2004, a time, the New York Times notes, was marked by increased effort and funds for the life sciences, nanotechnology, and media. He also over saw the introduction of the OpenCourseWare project that allowed users to take MIT courses online.

Additionally, the Times writes that Vest worked to include women and minorities in leadership positions at the school.

"Chuck Vest was both a product and a champion of this nation’s powerful scientific and engineering community," former US President Bill Clinton says in a statement at the MIT website. "He served with distinction as an ambassador and spokesman for science in Washington, advocating tirelessly for the essential role of research in our economic growth and national security."