In DepthU.S. Science Policy

Biden breaks new ground with science team picks

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6528, pp. 452-453
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6528.452

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

In picking a science team of prominent researchers who have extensive knowledge of the federal government, President Joe Biden has signaled that science would play an elevated role in his administration. At a 16 January press conference, Biden formally introduced mathematician and geneticist Eric Lander to be both director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and his science adviser. If the Senate confirms him as OSTP director, Lander would be the first life scientist to hold the posts and the first to be a member of the president's Cabinet. Biden also released a letter that asks Lander to focus on five grand challenges facing the country, including applying lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to improve public health, dealing more aggressively with climate change, and creating new industries from emerging technologies like quantum information science and artificial intelligence. Biden also introduced sociologist Alondra Nelson, who will fill the new position of OSTP deputy director for science and society. Nelson's title and appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, appears to reflect Biden's interest in using the federal research machinery to address social inequality.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science