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Not Too Bothered About Science

President Donald Trump isn't anti-science — he just gives it no thought, writes the University of Colorado, Boulder's Roger Pielke, Jr., at the Guardian. He notes that none of Trump's many tweets since assuming office have included the words "science" or "technology."

Pielke says that when Trump was elected, this apathy toward science wasn't really anticipated. While he adds that this "benign neglect" might not be too bad for the science community, it does leave some policy holes. For instance, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy isn't fully staffed and there is no presidential science advisor, though a few names have circulated as possibilities.

While the administration has said OSTP is still doing all its work, Pielke argues it is directionless as it moves from targeting research and development for a 4.6 percent budget cut in 2018 to a 4.1 percent budget increase in 2019.

"Were OSTP to have a director appointed with a coherent approach to science and technology policy, there is no guarantee that outcomes would be better for science than the current rudderless approach from the administration," Pielke writes. He adds that the science community itself could try to fill the policy gap.