Feb 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden taps 2 to replace ousted science adviser Eric Lander

Francis Collins.

Francis Collins. Photo: Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images

Former longtime National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins will step in as interim science adviser to President Biden, while Alondra Nelson — the deputy director at the Office of Science and Technology Policy — will step into the top role at that agency, the White House announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The moves establish leadership for the White House in terms of climate policy, in the fallout of the resignation of Eric Lander, who was found to have violated the Biden administration's workplace policy by bullying staff.

Details: Collins, whose 12 years at the helm made him the longest-serving presidentially appointed NIH director, "oversaw the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, from basic to clinical research," the White House said in a news release.

  • He will also serve as a co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
  • Nelson was the first deputy director of the OSTP. Her "research contributions are situated at the intersection of political and social citizenship," per the release.

Go deeper: Science adviser Eric Lander resigns after violating workplace policy

Go deeper