The White House’s science brain drain is complete

The Trump White House has officially cleared all scientists from its staff. The departure of three scientists, holdovers from the Obama administration, leaves the science division of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) completely vacant of scientists. The move signifies the stark differences in how current and previous administrations regard the importance of science. Under President Obama, a strong emphasis on the nexus of science and policy resulted in the OSTP staff swelling to more than 100 experts, who provided important advice on major issues, such as the Ebola crisis, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The OSTP has dwindled to just 35 members under President Trump, none of whom are scientists. Trump’s eschewing of expert advice has left the president, as one former senior advisor puts it, “flying blind when it comes to science and tech issues.”

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