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Oh Happy Day!

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Eric Lander

Russ Hobbie and I hope that Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology will inspire young scientists to study at the interface between physics and physiology, and to work at the boundary between mathematics and medicine. But what sort of job can you get with such a multidisciplinary background? How about Presidential Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy! This week President Biden nominated Eric Lander—mathematician and geneticist—to that important position.

Lander is no amateur in mathematics. He obtained a PhD in the field from Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Later his attention turned to molecular biology and he reinvented himself as a geneticist. He received a MacArthur “genius” grant in 1987, and co-led the human genome project. Now he’ll be part of the Biden administration; the most prominent scientist to hold a cabinet-level position since biological physicist Steven Chu.


m overjoyed that respect for science has returned to national politics. As we face critical issues, such as climate change and the covid-19 pandemic, input from scientists will be crucial. I

m especially excited because not only does our new president respect science, but also—as I wrote in a letter to the editor in the Oakland Press last October—the Congressional representative from my own district, Elissa Slotkin, understands and appreciates science. During her fall campaign, I volunteered to write postcards, one of which you can read below.

The last four years have been grim, but the times they are a-changin. #Scienceisback.

Oh happy day!

Pioneer in Science: Eric Lander — The Genesis of Genius


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