President Joe Biden’s top science adviser, Eric Lander, has just quit the administration suddenly after a new probe revealed allegations of bullying from subordinates.
Lander, who has been linked to deceased child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, abruptly resigned Monday evening.
His resignation came after an internal White House investigation found that he was bullying staffers.
In his resignation letter Lander, who heads the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the White House, wrote that he was “devastated” for hurting his colleagues.
Lander said: “It is clear that things I said, and the way I said them, crossed the line at times into being disrespectful and demeaning, to both men and women.
“That was never my intention.
“Nonetheless, it is my fault and my responsibility.
“I will take this lesson forward.”
See for example https://t.co/KPGkNmJSEd with photos of Jeffrey Epstein hanging out with @eric_lander, and @geochurch ands others pic.twitter.com/G5ARfICnrv
— Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) August 25, 2019
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said:
“The President accepted Dr. Eric Lander’s resignation letter this evening with gratitude for his work at OSTP on the pandemic, the Cancer Moonshot, climate change, and other key priorities.
“He knows that Dr. Lander will continue to make important contributions to the scientific community in the years ahead.
“Nothing about his behavior is acceptable to anyone here, at all,” Psaki added.
Biden said after being elected that he would fire someone on the spot who acted this way.
“I’m not joking when I say this: If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot.”
Note for those following the Länder – Epstein connection story – I wrote about this in 2019 https://t.co/zrXvUGYpTB
— Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) April 23, 2021
And see this for more detail https://t.co/8yPNZCWZRS
— Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) February 5, 2022
Lander’s bio at the Broad Institue says:
“Eric Lander is president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
“A geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, he has played a pioneering role in all aspects of the reading, understanding, and biomedical application of the human genome.
“He was a principal leader of the international Human Genome Project.
“Lander developed powerful methods for discovering the molecular basis of human diseases.
“Among them were the first methods for mapping the genes underlying polygenic disorders in which many genes play a role — including heart disease, diabetes, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease; these paradigms have led to more than 100,000 discoveries connecting regions of the human DNA with hundreds of diseases and traits, shedding light on the underlying biological mechanisms.
“He has done pioneering work on human genetic variation; human population history; genome evolution; regulatory elements; long non-coding RNAs; three-dimensional folding of the human genome; and genome-wide screens to discover the genes essential for biological processes using CRISPR-based genome editing.
“Lander is professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School.
“From 2009 to 2017, he served as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for President Barack Obama.”