Two months ago we wrote Who Will Be Trump’s Science Advisor?, in which we said:
[F]or 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 [Office of Science and Technology Policy] is a key thing to watch for.
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.
We haven’t seen any news stories or even speculation about this subject, until today. In the Yale Daily News, the daily newspaper of Yale University, we read: Yale professor under consideration for Trump advisor role. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Yale computer science professor David Gelernter ’76 is being considered for the job of science advisor in the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Here’s that story in the Washington Post: David Gelernter, fiercely anti-intellectual computer scientist, is being eyed for Trump’s science adviser. [*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] He’s “fiercely anti-intellectual” — whatever that means in an academic context. We’ll get back to that in a moment, but let’s return to the Yale Daily News, which says:
According to the Post, Gelernter — who caught the attention of students and faculty when he appeared on Fox News in October to express his support for Trump — is a leading expert in the field of parallel computation, a type of computing in which multiple processes are executed at the same time. He is also the author of several books, including “America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats),” which argues that top universities are to blame for the erosion of traditional American values.
[*Gasp*] — he appeared on Fox News, and his political views are unpopular in academia. He must be some kind of monster! One more excerpt:
Yalies were given a taste of Gelernter’s political views in a segment of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” last fall in which he called the University “an intellectual ghetto,” citing the overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 on campus. On the show, Gelernter expressed disgust at Trump’s treatment of women, but added, “We need somebody who is not scared to make big changes.”
Okay, now let’s see what the Washington Post says:
Gelernter met with the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday, according to press secretary Sean Spicer.
In 1993, Gelernter was seriously injured by a letter bomb sent by Ted Kaczynski, the anti-technology terrorist known as the Unabomber.
In his 2013 book, “America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats),” he condemned “belligerent leftists” and blamed intellectualism for the disintegration of patriotism and traditional family values. He attributed the decline in American culture to “an increasing Jewish presence at top colleges.” (Gelernter himself is Jewish.)
He has expressed doubt about the reality of man-made climate change — something that 97 percent of active researchers agree is a problem. And his anti-intellectualism makes him an outlier among scientists.
Okay, dear reader, that’s all we’ve got so far. If the Washington Post story is accurate, he’s quite a clunker. Go ahead and discuss it, but remember — at this point he’s just a name that’s being considered.
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