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Call for 'Bold' Era

Kelvin Droegemeier, the new director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, called for a "second bold era" of basic research during a speech at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, Geekwire reports.

Droegemeier, a former a meteorologist at the University of Oklahoma, was nominated over the summer to fill the OSTP spot, which had remained empty since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017. He was confirmed last month.

According to Geekwire, Droegemeier spoke of the post-World War II science boom and said the stage was set for a second such era. To fuel this, Nature News adds that Droegemeier said increased collaboration between the public and private sectors was needed. For instance, he said that the Trump administration is "laser-focused" on turning academic research findings into products, it reports. Droegemeier also called for the establishment of "Alpha Institutes" on university campuses funded by industry and non-profits to pursue blue-sky research, Geekwire adds.

Droegemeier also said the Trump administration wanted to reduce administrative issues researchers deal with as well as boost diversity and reduce sexual harassment in research, Chemistry World adds.

"I am one of you … I am a researcher and I'm an educator, I am not some aloof bureaucrat who sits at an office somewhere far, far away," he said, according to Chemistry World. It reports, though, that Droegemeier did not stay to answer questions.