For the first time in U.S. history, the president’s senior science adviser will be part of the White House Cabinet
President-elect Joe Biden introduced his team of science advisers Saturday, saying his administration will be guided by “science and truth.”
Biden elevated his science adviser to the Cabinet level for the first time in White House history. The president-elect nominated Eric Lander, a mathematician, geneticist and biologist, as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In introducing Lander, Biden described him as “one of the most brilliant people I know.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, while introducing the White House team of scientists, recalled her late mother, who was involved in cancer research and taught her to think critically.
“The science behind climate change is not a hoax. The science behind the virus is unbiased. The same laws apply, the same evidence is true, whether you accept it or not,” Harris said.
Eric Lander is founding director of the Broad Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. He was the lead author of the first paper in which researchers described the structure of the human genome.
The president-elect also invited Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who studied the human genome with Lander, to join the White House science team. Biden appointed two distinguished women scientists to co-chair the President’s Council on Science and Technology. Frances Arnold, a research chemist and 2018 Nobel Prize-winning chemist, and Maria Zuber, MIT vice president for research and professor of geophysics, will lead the council.
The position of director of science and technology policy requires Senate confirmation.
The president-elect has nominated sociologist Alondra Nelson of Princeton University for deputy director of science and technology policy.