The Senate on Friday confirmed by voice vote Eric Lander to guide the White Home Workplace of Science and Expertise Coverage (OSTP), rounding out President Biden’s Cupboard.
Lander, who will function Biden’s high scientist, is the primary particular person to carry the position because the president made it a Cupboard-level place.
Earlier than Friday, Lander was the one unconfirmed member of the Cupboard, although Biden has not but named a head to the Workplace of Administration and Price range. (OMB).
The OSTP is tasked with advising on the “scientific, engineering, and technological facets” of different coverage points, and recommending analysis and growth finances to the OMB.
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A high geneticist and director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Lander confronted criticisms over two conferences he had with the late convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein. The conferences have been trigger for delay in his affirmation, Politico reported.
Lander mentioned in his affirmation listening to he didn’t know of Epstein’s “sordid historical past” upon assembly the rich financier, and as soon as he realized about it “had nothing to do with him thereafter.” He mentioned his solely interactions with Epstein have been at “two temporary occasions” inside a span of three weeks in 2012.
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Lander additionally took warmth for allegations that he downplayed the contributions of two feminine Nobel Prize-winning scientists to the CRISPR gene-editing expertise in a 2016 paper.
“I made a mistake,” Lander beforehand advised the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.