About 60 percent of the people the Trump Administration has nominated to science-related posts do not have advanced degrees in a science or health field, according to number crunching by the Associated Press. By contrast, it notes that 60 percent of individuals in those positions during the Obama Administration did have such degrees.
In addition, the AP found that the portion of political appointees overall with science or health backgrounds has fallen from 46 during Obama's term to 33 during Trump's, including the former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a medical doctor, who resigned in September. Alex Azar, a lawyer formerly of Eli Lilly, has been nominated as his successor.
"This is just reflective of the disdain that the administration has shown for science," Christie Todd Whitman, a former Republican New Jersey governor and Environmental Protection Agency chief, tells the AP.
The AP adds that many of the people with advanced degrees in science in the Trump Administration came from the industries they are now to regulate.
Indiana University's John Graham tells the AP that he's more worried about the vacant science positions within the administration — it notes that more than a third of Senate-confirmable science-related positions have yet to be filled, including top spots at the White House Office of Science and Technology.