Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Science Influence

The influence of the presidential science advisor in the US has risen and fallen, depending on the administration, the New York Times writes.

It add that the position was first established by President Harry Truman in 1951, but that President Richard Nixon did away with the post in 1973, before Congress revived it and created the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Times writes that President Joe Biden appears to be promoting the position, as he has made it a Cabinet-level post. He further has charged his choice for the spot, the Broad Institute's Eric Lander, in a public letter with ensuring scientific advances help all Americans. However, the Times notes that the Biden Administration has also moved ahead with new science initiatives, even as Lander has yet to be confirmed by the Senate, calling into question how involved he might be.

According to Politico, the delay in Lander's confirmation is in part due to concerns about meetings he had in 2012 with the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking before his death. It adds that Lander and the White House say he met Epstein briefly at two events and had no relationship with him.

The Times adds that Lander's confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.