03 July 2017

Science? Who needs that?

CBS has an article by Jacqueline Alemany about the latest dumb move by The Donald:

The science division of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was unstaffed as of Friday, as the three remaining employees departed this week, sources tell CBS News.
All three employees were holdovers from the Obama administration. The departures from the division, one of four subdivisions within the OSTP, highlight the different commitment to scientific research under President Obama and and President Trump.
Under Obama, the science division was staffed with nine employees who led the charge on policy issues such as STEM education, biotechnology, and crisis response. It's possible that the White House will handle these issues through staff in other divisions within the OSTP.
On Friday afternoon, Eleanor Celeste, the assistant director for biomedical and forensic sciences at the OSTP, tweeted: "Science division out. Mic drop" before leaving the office for the last time.
Kumar Garg, a former OSTP staffer under Obama, also tweeted, "By COB today, number of staffers in White House OSTP's Science Division = 0."
"All of the work that we have been doing is still being done," a White House official familiar with the matter told CBS News, adding that 35 staffers currently work across the OSTP.  "Under the previous administration, the OSTP had grown exponentially over what it had been before," the official said. "Before the Obama administration, it had usually held fifty to sixty or so policy experts, director-level people, for all of OSTP."
The Obama administration staffed the OSTP with more than a hundred employees.
Garg, the Obama-era OSTP staffer who tweeted Friday, said the size of the office under the Obama administration reflected Obama's "strong belief in science, the growing intersection of science and technology in a range of policy issues and, as showcased in the OSTP exit memo, in a sweeping range of science and technology accomplishments by the Obama science team."
The Trump administration hasn't demonstrated the same commitment to science to date, most notably by naming climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency and announcing the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
But the Trump White House has decided to continue the tradition of hosting a White House science fair, an event started during the Obama years, CBS News reported in April. On Friday, Trump signed an executive order re-establishing a National Space Council.
Rico says it'd be funnier if it wasn't so sad...

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