Bureaucracy, Education

NEWS: Lander, Varmus selected for Obama’s science advisory team

By Andrew S. Wiecek
Published: December 20, 2008

Obama plans to put science at the top of the U.S. agenda.

President-elect Barack Obama. Source: Change.gov

Washington, DC, Dec. 20—President-elect
Barack Obama has announced that Eric Lander and Harold Varmus will join
physicist John Holdren as Co-Chairs of the President’s Council of
Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

“Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival
as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation,” said Obama
during the announcement. “It’s
time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to
restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.”

Lander is founding director of the Broad Institute
and was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project.
Lander is a professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School.

“I know [Lander] will be a powerful voice in my administration as we
seek to find the causes and cures of our most devastating diseases,”
said Obama.

Varmus served as Director of the National Institutes of Health from
1993 to 1999 and received a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1989. He has
served as the president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center since 2000. Varmus has also worked with the Ralph Lauren Center
for Cancer Care and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I am grateful [Varmus] has answered the call to serve once again,” said Obama.

Holdren has also been asked to serve as Assistant to the President
for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy for Obama’s administration. Obama also
announced that environmental scientist Jane Lubchenco has been selected
as the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration nominee. 

“I am confident that if we recommit ourselves to discovery; if we
support science education to create the next generation of scientists
and engineers right here in America; if we have the vision to believe
and invest in things unseen,” said Obama, “then we can lead the world
into a new future of peace and prosperity.”

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