Formally known as the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the science advisor is responsible for consulting with scientists inside and outside of government to ensure the President has the best available information on any policy issue related to science.
OSTP and the science advisor role have not been a priority for the Trump White House with the position still open and no indications that a nomination is coming soon. The transition team only held one meeting with the office before Trump became president, according to John Holdren, Obama’s OSTP director. That meeting—attended by a single transition staffer—lasted one hour and took place a week prior to inauguration, Holdren said.
“He seemed positive and enthusiastic about the mission of OSTP as we explained it,” Holdren said of the meeting with the transition team. “But I have not had any further contact.” The White House did not reply to a request for comment Monday, and the presidential transition team did not reply to a request on the same topic in December.
Several controversial names have appeared as potential science advisors including Yale University computer scientist David Gelernter and Princeton University physicist William Happer. Both are respected in their fields, but deny the science of climate change. [Continue reading…]