Three Social Scientists Named to PCAST

On September 22, President Biden announced the appointment of 30 members to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the body of external advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President and the White House. The White House announcement notes that this is the most diverse group of PCAST members in U.S. history; it is led by its first female external co-chairs, Dr. Frances Arnold and Dr. Maria Zuber (in addition to Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Eric Lander) and is composed of over 50 percent women and one-third people of color and immigrants. Three of the PCAST members appointed by the President represent the social sciences: social epidemiologist and health services researcher Dr. Lisa A. Cooper (John Hopkins University), economist Dr. Jonathan Levin (Stanford University), social psychologist Dr. Jennifer Richeson (Yale University). The White House press release boasts that President Biden’s Council includes “20 elected members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, five MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellows, two former Cabinet secretaries, and two Nobel laureates.” Full details on all of the appointees are available on the White House website. PCAST will hold its first two meeting this week, on Strengthening U.S. Global Leadership and Public Health Preparedness.

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