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After a 19-month delay, the Trump Administration has nominated someone to be the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, or as is more colloquially known, the science adviser to the president.

Congress established the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 1976. President Gerald Ford, a Republican, signed the act creating the agency into law. That took place after President Nixon disbanded the then-called “President Advisory Committee” in 1973.

The mandate for the agency is to provide the president and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics.

Therefore, it is an agency that can have a tremendous influence on U.S. politics and policies since before making any decision on the above-mentioned areas, the president is supposed to hear what the science adviser has to say. However, in recent actions, including how to deal with nuclear threats from North Korea, natural disasters, and the withdrawing of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, Trump has acted without the advice of any scientific expert.


This work was originally published in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.



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