Baker Institute’s experts available to comment on Biden science adviser nominee

Credit: University

Credit: University


Jeff Falk

President-elect also appoints two women to co-chair President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

HOUSTON - (Jan. 15, 2021) - President-elect Joe Biden today announced his intent to nominate Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Eric Lander for director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Neal Lane , a senior fellow in science and technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, former director of the OSTP and former science adviser to President Bill Clinton, is available to discuss the nominee - "an excellent choice," he said - and the role of the OSTP with the news media.

Lane and Baker Institute colleagues Kirstin Matthews , a fellow in science and technology policy, and Kenneth Evans , a scholar in science and technology policy, have co-authored three recent publications highlighting the importance of action on science and technology policy:

"Science, technology and innovation are vital to America’s economy, workforce and the competitiveness of U.S. industry," Lane said. "They assure our nation’s security, the quality of our environment and the safety, health and overall well-being of the American people. Considering the many policy challenges that relate to science and technology and the accelerating pace of scientific discovery and technological innovation across the globe, Biden’s appointment of Lander is critically important for organizing a capable OSTP that can begin to engage the many executive departments and agencies that support research and development and rely on advances in science and technology to carry out their missions."

In addition, by appointing two women - Frances Arnold and Maria Zuber - to co-chair the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Biden has shown an understanding of the importance of gender equity in science, Matthews said. "Biden’s commitment to ensuring PCAST has a place in the administration, especially so early on, bodes well. It’s a new day for American leadership in science," she said.

Lane is also Rice’s Malcolm Gillis University Professor Emeritus and professor emeritus of physics and astronomy.


Related materials:

Lane bio:

Matthews bio:

Evans bio:

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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks as the No. 2 university-affiliated think tank in the world and the No. 1 energy think tank in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes - including a public policy course - and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, blog.bakerinstitute.­org .

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