Memo for President Biden: Five steps to getting more from science
Going back to normal is not enough. A revamp is required.
Here is how it starts:
As things look now, the US presidency of Donald Trump will soon be in the rear-view mirror, but the damage his administration leaves behind will require a sustained effort to repair. That’s especially true when it comes to restoring competency and trust in federal research agencies. President-elect Joe Biden needs to do this as soon as possible, not least to quell a pandemic that is setting records for the numbers of new cases and is on track to kill more Americans than died in the Second World War. The country cannot continue to bear the ad hoc, ineffective and incoherent pandemic response it has endured under Trump.
The list of needed actions is long, but here we highlight five that the Biden administration should take swiftly. We call not for a return to business as usual but for fundamental, sometimes counter-intuitive changes that will strengthen the use of science in US policy and by the research community more broadly.