WASHINGTON — Eric Lander, President Biden’s nominee to lead the White House’s science policy office, easily weathered a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday that started with an examination of his past controversies but ended in a more philosophical discussion of the future of American research.
The renowned genetics researcher pledged that if confirmed, he would leverage U.S. science to drive a new wave of disease cures. The Biden administration, he said, would also work to address climate change, increase access to STEM careers for women and people of color, and address an array of other issues ranging from cybersecurity to broadband access.
Lander’s confirmation now hinges on a vote of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and, if he receives committee approval, a vote before the full Senate. If confirmed, he would become the first-ever White House science adviser to serve in the president’s cabinet.