In DepthU.S. Policy

The Trump era: 10 questions

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Science  27 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6323, pp. 333-334
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6323.333

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When presidents talk about science, they are usually thinking of one or more of three things: funding, people, and policies. Donald Trump did not mention science in his inaugural address, which is normal for a president. Trump's closest reference to science was his comment that "we stand ready … to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow." He also repeated his campaign slogan to "make America great again." Now that the nation's 45th president is on the job, scientists will be listening closely to see whether those words are a harbinger of his science policy. Here are 10 questions that researchers should be asking as presidential rhetoric confronts political realities.