Joe Biden and his administration face the enormous task of repairing damage from a predecessor who was hostile to science, dismissed evidence, spread conspiracy theories and rejected reality itself. Meanwhile a plague is raging. The planet is warming. Social trust is abysmal; a substantial fraction of Americans have bought into the lie that Biden's decisive win in the 2020 election was somehow fraudulent. Digging out of this hole will take years. But there is much the new administration can do immediately, starting with the steps laid out in the pages that follow.
This article was originally published with the title "The Four Most Pressing Science Priorities for the Next President" in Scientific American 324, 2, 30-31 (February 2021)