Biden’s Top Science Advisor Resigns After Acknowledging ‘Downfall’

WASHINGTON — Eric S. Lander, the president’s top science adviserHe resigned on Monday evening after admitting that he had humiliated and disrespected his colleagues, undermining President Biden’s promise to immediately dismiss any official who behaved in this way.

“The President gratefully accepted Dr. Eric Lander’s letter of resignation this evening,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “Dr. He knows that Lander will continue to make significant contributions to the scientific community for years to come.”

A cabinet-level official, Dr. Lander apologized to his staff after an internal investigation found that he had violated a management policy that outlined a code of respectful behavior in the workplace. In an email to White House Office of Science and Technology Policy staff on Friday, Dr. Lander told his colleagues he was “very sorry”.

The White House initially hosted Dr. He was with Lander. “Our goal, and the president’s goal, is to prevent this behavior from happening again,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday. However, the pressure quickly escalated after the woman who started the investigation made it clear that her apology was not sufficient and that her behavior was pervasive, abusive and focused on women.

Dr. “Many women burst into tears, were traumatized, and felt vulnerable and isolated,” said Rachel Wallace, who served as Lander’s chief counsel. aforementioned In an interview with Politico.

Dr. Lander, molecular biologist best known As one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project and former president of the MIT and Harvard Broad Institute, he is the first person to rise to the presidential cabinet in his role. It’s the president’s responsibility. cancer moonshot initiativeAiming to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent in 25 years. In recent weeks, he had briefed his eldest son, the president and first lady, on the subject. beautifulHe died of brain cancer in 2015.

But when she was appointed as Mr. Biden’s science adviser, she was known in the scientific community for offending women. Last January, 500 female scientists published an editorial in Scientific American begging Mr. Biden to consider naming someone else—preferably a woman—for the position.

“While we can celebrate the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to science, we must acknowledge that Lander has a reputation among some scientists. be controversialand his colleagues ‘the endless ego‘” the group wrote. They pointed out that in the past apologized He toasted James Watson, a molecular biologist with a “long history of racist and sexist commentary,” for “lowly caring” for the contributions of the two female scientists to the discovery of gene-editing technology, and for the letter’s authors to write.

On Monday evening, the White House, Dr. Congress rescinded his testimony that Lander was murdered. planned It will be submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee on Tuesday, according to Representative Anna G. Eshoo, a California Democrat and chair of the subcommittee.

“The White House has informed me that Dr. Eric Lander will not testify at the Health Subcommittee tomorrow,” he said. The trial will continue with the second witness panel.”

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