Earlier today, the last three members of the science division of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy — all holdovers from the Obama administration — left the building for good.
There is no more science division under the Trump administration.
Under Mr. Obama, the science division was staffed with nine employees who led the charge on policy issues such as STEM education, biotechnology and crisis response. It’s possible that the White House will handle these issues through staff in other divisions within the OSTP.
It’s possible. But it’s not probable. Trump has already shown how much he cares about science by appointing a number of people to Cabinet-level positions who don’t give a damn about science, most notably Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. A show of hands for how many of his Cabinet members accept evolution, I’m sure, wouldn’t inspire much confidence either.
Keep in mind that Trump has 35 staffers in the entire OSTP. Obama had over 100. Because science mattered to him.
Trump has mostly engaged in symbolic gestures so far when it comes to supporting science. His actual policies, however, like withdrawing the country from the Paris climate agreement, have been firmly against the advice of scientific experts. Trump’s proposed budget also slashed funding for the National Institutes of Health and “cut federal spending on basic research by 13%.”
How do we make America great again? It sure as hell isn’t like this.