Biden Announces PCAST Co-Chairs
On January 16th, President-elect Joe Biden introduced Drs. Eric Lander, Frances Arnold, and Maria Zuber as the Co-Chairs of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, along side other members of his science team. With “science at the forefront of my administration,” he is elevating the post of Science Adviser to Cabinet level — a White House first.
A pioneer in mapping the human genome — the “book of life” — Dr. Eric Lander is the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and is nominated to be the 11th Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the President’s Adviser on Science. He would be the first life scientist to have that White House job. He has been awarded numerous international prizes, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, and the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biological Research. Under the Obama-Biden Administration (2009-2017), he was Co-Chair of PCAST.
The first American women to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2018) for her work on directed evolution of enzymes, Dr. Frances Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at California Institute of Technology. She has co-founded three companies in sustainable fuels, chemistry, and agriculture, and she holds more than 60 U.S. patents. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Arnold received in 2011 the Charles Stark Draper Prize and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
The first woman to lead a NASA planetary mission and first woman to lead a science department at MIT, Dr. Maria Zuber is the Vice President for Research and E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been involved in more than half a dozen NASA planetary missions aimed at mapping the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and several asteroids. With a long track record of service, she was appointed to the Presidential Commission on the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy under President G. W. Bush and by Presidents Obama and Trump to the National Science Board, where she served as Board Chair.