Search for content, post, videos

Life Sciences under Biden

Joe Biden Times Square Photo Massimo Giachetti
As the coronavirus swept across the globe over the past year, science has been in the spotlight, sometimes embraced, sometimes vilified. The lackluster response by former US President Donald J. Trump’s administration to the coronavirus crisis at home and dismissal of much of the advice from science and health professionals contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths and tarnished America’s reputation as a leader in scientific research and thinking. But America’s 46th president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., has indicated from the beginning of his first term that science will play a prominent role in his administration. “I am feeling very optimistic,” says US Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from the state of Connecticut, who is a big supporter of science initiatives. “It is refreshing to once again have a president and an administration that believes in science and is listening to the experts. This is something I certainly took for granted, and will never again.” Immediate responses Biden’s immediate priority has been slowing the spread of the coronavirus and getting as many Americans vaccinated against the virus as possible. He met his goal of vaccinating 100 million people in 100 days in only 58 days, and now he is aiming to reach 200 million by day 100.     The new president moved almost immediately to surround himself with science advisors. A statement from the White House in January announced the re-establishment of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), which had established in 1990, deactivated in January 2017 and revived on a small scale in 2019. The current PCAST is being co-chaired by the president’s science advisor and will advise the president on policy that affects science, technology, and innovation. The council will also advise the president on scientific and technical information that is needed to inform public policy relating to the economy, worker empowerment, education, energy, environment, public health, national and homeland security, racial equity and other topics. ”He believes in science” In another sign of Biden’s commitment, he elevated the position of science advisor to a cabinet position. Biden nominated Dr. Eric Lander, PhD., founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, who was the lead author of the first paper announcing the details of the human genome, as director of Office of Science and Technology Policy and adviser on science. Lander is the first life scientist nominated to that position. As of late March, confirmation hearings had not been scheduled. “It [the appointment] says he believes in science, in the importance of science and the need to have the voice of experienced, qualified scientists at th
Already a subscriber Login

You have read all your free articles, to continue reading subscribe to read the rest of this content.