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Unsure of What to Do

Staffers at the smaller White House Office of Science and Technology Policy are without direction on how to handle government programs on topics ranging from the regulation of genetically modified organisms to science education, Nature News reports.

The number of staffers at OSTP has dwindled to 35 under the Trump Administration, down from 130 during the Obama Administration, and Nature News says that more career staffers are expected to leave.

At the same time, it notes that the staffers are directionless as there is no presidential science advisor to direct the office. An administration official tells Nature News, though, that three or four candidates are under consideration for the spot.

Still, Nature News says staffers cannot move forward with some initiatives without guidance from above, particularly on issues where the new administration's stance differs from the old. "Everyone's sort of afraid to step too far out in front of knowing what the new leadership is going to want," says Tamara Dickinson, who was in the office's environment and energy division until January.