Eric Lander's nomination to lead to the Office of Science and Technology Policy is moving along, the Hill reports.
President Joe Biden named Lander as his science advisor nominee in January, and Lander's nomination hearing was held in late April. During the hearing, Lander faced questions about meetings he had with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and concerns that he had downplayed the contributions of women to science. Lander told lawmakers that he twice briefly met Epstein and acknowledged that he had understated the contributions of Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier to the development of CRISPR. During the hearing, he also committed to promoting diversity and equity in science.
According to the Hill, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to advance Lander's nomination. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the chair of the committee, tells Politico that she and Lander have come to an "understanding" that diversity would be promoted at OSTP and that the committee would be kept apprised of its efforts. "I know that adding diversity to the sciences will help us change what science we focus on,” she tells it. “So by adding diversity, we will be more representative.
Politico adds that his nomination will now head before the full Senate.