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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Friday that he will make the top White House science post a Cabinet-level position for the first time in U.S. history.

The big picture: Biden said he has picked Eric Lander to be his presidential science adviser and he will nominate the geneticist as the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Biden also announced other key members of his science team, including Francis Collins, who will stay on as director of the National Institutes of Health.

The White House science team includes:

  • Lander, who will be nominated as OSTP director and serve as the presidential science adviser.
  • Alondra Nelson, who will serve as the OSTP deputy director for science and society.
  • Frances Arnold and Maria Zuber, who will serve as the external co-chairs of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
  • Collins, who will continue to lead the NIH.
  • Kei Koizumi, who will serve as OSTP chief of staff.
  • Narda Jones, who will serve as OSTP legislative affairs director.

What he's saying: “Science will always be at the forefront of my administration — and these world-renowned scientists will ensure everything we do is grounded in science, facts, and the truth," Biden said in a statement.

  • "Their trusted guidance will be essential as we come together to end this pandemic, bring our economy back, and pursue new breakthroughs to improve the quality of life of all Americans."

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
8 hours ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

8 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.