A Science Advisor At Long Last, Yay

ScienceAdvisor

SUE OGROCKI / AP / THE ATLANTIC

If Ed Yong is happy, then we too are happy about this. Really. Even if it has a bit of fiddling while Rome burns feel to it. Let’s hope he can talk some sense, even if it is too late, into the powers that be:

Trump Finally Picks a Science Adviser—And People Are Delighted

His nominee, Kelvin Droegemeier, is an accomplished meteorologist who studies storms and other extreme weather.

For decades, the meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier has been immersed in the study of thunderstorms, tornadoes, and other extreme weather. Now he looks set to enter the unpredictable and stormy world of the Trump administration as its top scientific consigliere.As The Washington Post reported, the president has tapped Droegemeier to direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), an office that has advised past presidents on everything from Ebola outbreaks to nuclear meltdowns.The directorship is as close to a Cabinet-level position in science and technology as there is. It has also gone unfilled for the 19 months since Donald Trump took office—an unprecedentedly long time in the OSTP’s 42-year history. For comparison, George W. Bush set the previous record for the longest delay when he took four months to choose his nominee, while Barack Obama made his pick a month before his inauguration.

Though late, Droegemeier’s nomination comes as a rare spot of welcome news for the scientific community. Many of Trump’s choices to lead or advise scientific agencies have been criticized either for lacking relevant qualifications, or for being diametrically opposed to the organization they were tapped to run.

By contrast, Droegemeier has impeccable scientific credentials. “I’m pleasantly surprised,” says J. Marshall Shepherd, a meteorologist at the University of Georgia. “Up to this point, many of the appointments on the science side have been odd, but Kelvin is solid on all grounds. He is very well respected in our field and has spent a career teaching the fundamentals of climate science.”

Read the whole story here.

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