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Non-Scientist Reportedly to Be Tapped for USDA Chief Scientist

A non-scientist is being considered to be the US Department of Agriculture's chief scientist, Mashable reports.

The Washington Post adds that the USDA undersecretary for the Research, Education, and Economics division is usually a researcher with a background in agricultural sciences. Indeed, Mashable notes that 2008 Farm Bill calls for the position to be held by "distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics."

However, the Iowan conservative talk radio show host Sam Clovis is reportedly being tapped for the spot, according to Mashable. Clovis, a Trump campaign advisor, holds a bachelor's degree in political science and government, a master's degree in business administration, and a doctoral degree in public administration, it adds.

The Post notes that as head of USDA research, Clovis, a climate-change denier, would oversee efforts at the agency to gauge how climate change would affect agricultural and forestry efforts.

"This position is the chief scientist of the Department of Agriculture. It should be a person who evaluates the scientific body of evidence and moves appropriately from there," Catherine Woteki, who served as undersecretary during the Obama administration, tells ProPublica.