ASBMB statement on President-elect Joseph Biden's announced science team

January 15, 2021

The following is a statement from Benjamin Corb, public affairs director for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: 

“President-elect Joe Biden has made an unmistakable step to raise the importance of science in the White House’s policy-making, and has named an impressive slate of candidates to fill the top science spots in his administration with top caliber candidates.   

Dr. Francis Collins has proudly served multiple presidents as the Director of the National Institutes of Health and has been a strong voice for biomedical science – from discovery to clinical application.  He has shepherded the NIH through a challenging time and has been a valuable voice for science during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Eric Lander, a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician currently serves as the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  Lander brings to the White House a diverse career dedicated to science and is the first life scientist to serve in this capacity. 

We are further excited to see that it is reportedly the first time, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy will be a cabinet level appointment.  Whether climate change, the pandemic, or a variety of other issues, we are thrilled to see the Biden administration recognizing the critical role science can play in policy making. 

Our enthusiasm is tempered by the lack of diversity in the top spots in President-elect Biden’s science team.  The men nominated are highly qualified and impressive candidates.  However, we can’t help but to hope one day to see more diversity in the scientists leading the NIH and the OSTP. The team assembled below the directors do reflect that diversity is a strength of the scientific enterprise.  

We congratulate Dr. Collins, Dr. Lander, and all those nominated to the science team, and look forward to working with them all in the future.”