President Donald Trump has finally nominated someone to the position of science advisor and the nominee, Kelvin Droegemeier, represents a change from previous environmental and science picks. Droegemeier is a meteorologist and believes in climate change. He is also well-respected on both sides of the political aisle as an advocate for science and research. Some are calling the pick a much-needed voice of reason for climate change.
Trump nominated Droegemeier 19 months after becoming the president, fueling concerns that the administration is apathetic to science issues. However, within the period that Trump has come to power, his administration had failed to award significant funding to science causes and promote climate change initiatives.
Droegemeier May Become the First Non-Physicist to Become Science Adviser
Several expert environmentalists believe Droegemeier would be a great fit for the role of science advisor and a strong advocate for science – if the Senate confirms his nomination. He has advocated for the White House and Congress to include funding for science research in the 2018 budget.
“He’s a very good pick,” Harvard environmental policy expert and science adviser to former President Barack Obama John Holdren told Science. “He has experience speaking science to power. I expect he’ll be energetic in defending the R&D budget and climate change research in particular.”
Droegemeier will be the first non-physicist to become a science adviser in any government administration if the Senate approves his nomination. He is an expert in extreme weather events and is very adept at using supercomputers to develop atmospheric models, something he did for his research career.
Droegemeier worked under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush at the National Science Board, a policy-making agency that manages the National Science Foundation. Since 2009, he has remained the Vice President for research at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Droegemeier Success As Science Adviser Might Depend On the Presidency
The Senate’s approval of Droegemeier for the job would put him in charge of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Numerous climate change experts said they believe Droegemeier would deliver when finally appointed.
But former OSTP assistant director Kei Koizumi called for caution, saying a lot of factors go into making Droegemeier successful at the job. He reiterated that Droegemeier would be an excellent science advisor, but his success largely depends on if the President and the White House allow him to do his job.
According to The Washington Post, part of Droegemeier’s job may include developing powerful cybersecurity as well as partnering with technology manufacturers to create artificial intelligence among other technological developments.