Biden Has Elevated the Job of Science Adviser. Is That What Science Needs?

On the campaign trail, Joseph R. Biden Jr. vowed to unseat Donald J. Trump and bring science back to the White House, the federal government and the nation after years of presidential attacks and disavowals, neglect and disarray.

As president-elect, he got off to a fast start in January by nominating Eric S. Lander, a top biologist, to be his science adviser. He also made the job a cabinet-level position, calling its elevation part of his effort to “reinvigorate our national science and technology strategy.”

In theory, the enhanced post could make Dr. Lander one of the most influential scientists in American history.

But his Senate confirmation hearing was delayed three months, finally being set for Thursday.

The delay, according to…



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