In DepthScience Policy

Researchers welcome Trump's pick to head science office

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Science  03 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6401, pp. 434
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6401.434

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The long wait for a White House science adviser is over. President Donald Trump this week announced he intends to nominate meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, a university administrator and former vice-chair of the governing board of the U.S. National Science Foundation, to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP director traditionally, but not always, holds the title of the president’s science adviser. The move caps a lengthy, record-setting search process—it lasted nearly 560 days, double the time taken by other modern presidents to name an OSTP director—that had drawn criticism and concern from many in the research community. But the wait might have been worth it: Droegemeier, a respected veteran of the Washington, D.C., policymaking scene with bipartisan connections, is getting positive reviews from former colleagues and science and university groups. “He’s a very good pick. … He has experience speaking science to power,” says John Holdren, who served as science adviser under former President Barack Obama and is now affiliated with Harvard University. “I expect he’ll be energetic in defending the R&D budget and climate change research in particular. … He’s got a big challenge ahead of him. … I look forward to seeing what he’s able to accomplish in a very challenging circumstance.”