Donald Trump is always bragging about numbers and records he has set. Said bragging is rarely rooted in truth, but this time he has doubled a record — and it isn’t one anyone should be boasting about. The Trump Administration has gone longer than any other presidential administration without a science adviser.
Ever since the Office and Science and Technology Policy was created in 1976, presidents have picked science advisers prior to assuming office or shortly thereafter. Before Trump, George W. Bush went the longest without a science adviser, at nine months and four days after taking the oath of office. Trump just doubled that number, and there seems to be no end in sight. This should come as no surprise, though, because this administration is notoriously hostile to science of any kind. Kumar Garg, who worked in that very office during the Obama Administration, elaborated on these points with regards to Trump:
If you had asked somebody at the start of the administration if we would be approaching this sort of marker, they would have been shocked. The science community should want the position filled and should want the position filled with someone who is qualified and capable.”
Democratic Senator Chris Coons wrote a letter to Trump voicing his dismay over Trump’s continued refusal to fill roles in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The letter said, in part:
Currently, nine out of ten key OSTP staff positions remain vacant. I remain quite concerned that, when it comes to science, America is falling behind its major competitors. China, for example, is ramping up its science and technology innovation efforts significantly.”
However, there has been no response to any of these concerns from the Trump Administration. They hate science, though, so we shouldn’t hold our breaths when it comes to their actually bringing America into the 21st century on these matters.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr