Who Will Be Trump’s Science Advisor?

According to Wikipedia, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP):

is a department of the United States government, part of the Executive Office of the President (EOP), established by United States Congress on May 11, 1976, with a broad mandate to advise the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

The director of this office is colloquially known as the President’s Science Advisor. Dr. John Holdren, Director, nominated in December 2008, serves as Science Advisor to President Barack Obama. Holdren also co-chairs the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and supports the President’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).


The OSTP handles a broad range of scientific and technological issues within the Executive Office of the President. It participates in a multitude of White House Policy Coordinating Committees (PCC) that are tasked with developing policies for the federal government and are populated by senior officials from cabinet and independent agencies. The OSTP has approximately 45 staff members, most of whom are experienced scientists functioning as assistant directors or policy analysts.

Perhaps we shouldn’t admit this, but we can’t recall a single news story that mentioned Dr. John Holdren, Obama’s science advisor. It would appear that the Office of Science and Technology Policy isn’t a big news-maker. Nevertheless, for those who are concerned about what a Trump administration would mean for science — a legitimate concern considering that Mike Pence, his Vice President, is a creationist — Trump’s appointment of director of the OSTP is a key thing to watch for.

We’ve been searching for news, but other then some stories about the concerns of scientists, we haven’t seen any speculation about actual names. It’s a bit early for that. For the moment, all the press attention is on other appointments, but before very long we’ll know who the appointee is.

Your Curmudgeon has no clue about who the appointee will be, but if it’s someone with an impressive résumé, we assume he (that’s an all-inclusive pronoun) will be satisfied that Trump is willing to listen to reason.

Okay, now we’ll make a prediction. Trump’s science advisor: (a) won’t be a creationist; and (b) won’t be in denial about climate change. What do you think, dear reader?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Who Will Be Trump’s Science Advisor?

  1. Is Trump aware that there is such a thing as Science?

  2. Ham, Klinghoffer, Axe, yikes. I agree, Trump & Pence are no friends of science. I don’t think GW Bush was either. Science denial and illiteracy runs in the republican family.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Okay, now we’ll make a prediction. Trump’s science advisor: (a) won’t be a creationist; and (b) won’t be in denial about climate change. What do you think, dear reader?

    I think the Curmudgeon has been hitting the sauce a bit.

  4. “Okay, now we’ll make a prediction. Trump’s science advisor: (a) won’t be a creationist; and (b) won’t be in denial about climate change.”

    I think that the odds are far more in favor of someone like Ken Ham or S. Fred Singer than both of the above.

  5. How about Kingenschitt from colorado?

  6. Trump will must likely choose Gary, the author of the letter that is the subject of your previous post.

  7. Doesn’t matter since the position will be for show. Can anyone here possibly believe Trump will allow science to change his mind? Trump is about closing the deal so when being advised he will accept the advice that happens to support his goals–science or not. See confirmation bias.

    Even if Trump visits Fiji and sees for himself the effect of global warming I predict he will say either 1) it’s too late to regulate or 2) U.S. won’t regulate unless other countries also agree to regulate. He’s not going to lead the effort esp. if it will hurt business profits.

    Let’s not forget Trump is anti-vaccine. What does medical science think of Trump?


  8. Eddie Janssen

    Given the position of Pence in the transition team and given that indeed it may just be a show nomination, he or she may very well be a creationist and a climate change denialist.

  9. I wonder what made Ben Carson, who not so long ago aspired to become president, suddenly even got weak in the knees even when offered a role as secretary of Health. Perhaps though the (almost invisible) role as science advisor would suit him. So a cretinist, but not an antivaxer (afaik). Climate denial is default for virtually all Republicans.

  10. My feeling is that most competent scientists will turn down any offer to be an advisor to the Trump administration. Any competent individual who would accept the job of Science Advisor to Trump would be in a very awkward position no matter what he/she does. If such a person accepts the job because of a sense of obligation to provide the best scientific information to a scientifically ignorant administration, that person can’t reveal in public such a reason why he or she is accepting the position; such a statement would be noted by the Trump administration and the person would be fired immediately.

    So any such person would have to endure the public perception that he or she agrees with Trump’s and Pense’s “views” on science and would very likely waste a number of productive years away from the science community simply being window dressing for an anti-science administration.

  11. Mike Elzinga makes a good point. Maybe they’ll just let it go and not appoint anyone, leaving it to Donald Trump, who already knows more than the generals and likely scientists as well, and a republican Congress that likely is also as scientifically educated as Trump and/or industry lobbyists, to make decisions regarding science and technology.

  12. “Maybe they’ll just let it go and not appoint anyone”
    That seems at least *highly* likely. Note that Bush 2.0 demoted the presidential science adviser position. Nixon had no need of science advice as well.

    Click to access resource-2719-2009.05.pdf


  13. michaelfugate

    Trump is just unfit for anything other than reality TV host or maybe internet troll.

  14. Trump: the Anti-Obama. The next four years won’t be very pretty nor constructive for science or the environment. Come to think of it it’s going to be tough for anyone with more than a few neurons firing. When you are as omnipresent as Trump is its kind of tough to take advice from mere mortals.

  15. Trump’s science advisor: (a) won’t be a creationist; and (b) won’t be in denial about climate change.

    My take: (a) maybe, (b) definitely in denial

  16. To judge by other nominees to date, the question isn’t about the individual concerned having any scientific knowledge, just whether or not they’re sufficiently racist.

  17. It is more likely that we’ll hear “Teach the Controversy” than “Evolution is true.”

  18. The ignorant moron that wrote this as well as those making idiotic comments need to read more and speak less.

  19. @Daniel Hofford
    Because inaction on global warming doesn’t matter, is what the author of that piece seems to be saying.

  20. @Daniel Hofford
    Oh, and I’ve just noticed who that author is: John Tierney. No wonder the article’s a bit, well, bonkers.

  21. Daniel, thanks for the comic relief. The commenters are even better. Any science I don’t agree with is automatically political and ideological – it is the perfect anti-science stance.

  22. From Tierney’s former blog:

    John Tierney always wanted to be a scientist but went into journalism because its peer-review process was a great deal easier to sneak through […]
    With your help, he’s using TierneyLab to check out new research and rethink conventional wisdom about science and society. The Lab’s work is guided by two founding principles:
    Just because an idea appeals to a lot of people doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
    But that’s a good working theory.

    Tierney forgot to add – unless it matches my preconceived notions and then it right. Evidence? who needs evidence when you’ve got intuition?

  23. Red Nek Engineer

    Holdren was an environMENTAList who knows precious little about science. The people advising Trump i know personally will not make a similar mistake. It is time to stop the UN globalist inspired hoax.

  24. And you know the worst thing about environMENTALists like Holdren? The libtard scum get their information from genuine sources rather than fake ones. Jeez, what morans!