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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden named pioneering geneticist Eric Lander as the director of the Science and Technology Policy Office, bringing the position for the first time to Cabinet-level status.

Lander, a Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who helped lead the Human Genome Project, will also serve in the role of presidential science adviser, Biden’s team said.

“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, which announced several personnel appointments to the White House science team.

“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,” Biden said.

Lander, 63, will succeed meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, who was appointed director in 2019 by President Donald Trump after almost two years of vacancy in the position.

During the election campaign to undermine confidence in science, Biden, who will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, regularly excoriated Trump, whether it was Trump’s downplaying of signs of climate change or proposing injections

Biden has vowed to raise support, including medical research and renewable energy, for U.S. research and development. He also named John Kerry, the former Secretary of State, as a special presidential climate envoy.

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