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Lack of Science Leadership

The Biden Administration's science plans may be constrained by a lack of leadership in that space, the New York Times writes.

It notes that there are no permanent leaders in place at the National Institutes of Health, as Francis Collins recently stepped down from his position after 12 years, or at the Food and Drug Administration, as Robert Califf, who was nominated to the position, has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. Additionally, Eric Lander resigned this week as White House science advisor and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy after revelations that he bullied colleagues. At the same time, the Times notes that Xavier Becerra, the health and human services secretary, has kept a "low profile."

All this, the Times says, could make it challenging to achieve the administration's science agenda. It notes that the White House recently announced the re-launch of the cancer moonshot program and is working to secure funding for a health initiative modeled on DARPA, while the House of Representatives and the Senate work to reconcile their research funding bills.