In DepthScience Policy

U.S. science adviser sees smaller federal role

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Science  22 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6429, pp. 800-801
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6429.800

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The new science adviser to President Donald Trump wants to usher in a new golden era of U.S. science—but with less gold from the federal government. On 11 January, Kelvin Droegemeier filled a record-setting 2-year vacancy when he became director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). But the 60-year-old meteorology professor, who is on leave from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, didn't step fully into the public limelight until last week, when he gave an exclusive interview to Science and a speech in Washington, D.C., at the annual meeting of AAAS (Science's publisher). Droegemeier's message was aspirational, pledging to combat sexual harassment in science and to ease federal regulations on research. He made no mention of climate change, which many researchers see as the most pressing science-based issue of our times. And he said that the key to future scientific preeminence isn't increased federal funding, but stronger collaborations among government, industry, academia, and private foundations.