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Tue Oct 22, 2019, 02:31 PM

Industry dominates Trump's new council of science advisers

Source: Washington Post

President Trump revived the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on Tuesday after nearly two years without it.

“Under this administration, science and technology in America continues to advance by leaps and bounds,” said the president’s science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier, who will chair the council, in a statement. “PCAST will be critical to our continued efforts, with each member bringing a unique expert perspective to the table.”

PCAST’s members investigate the country’s pressing scientific questions at the president’s direction. Typically, academic members of a PCAST outnumber its industry scientists. This was true for the councils under George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Industry veterans dominate Trump’s inaugural PCAST, as they did under George W. Bush. Only one of Trump’s seven new PCAST members works in academia. Two members do not have doctoral degrees.

The newly announced members are: Catherine Bessant, the chief technology officer at Bank of America; H. Fisk Johnson, chief executive at S.C. Johnson & Son; IBM Research director Dario Gil; Cyclo Therapeutics vice president Sharon Hrynkow; A.N. Sreeram, Dow Chemical’s chief technology officer; HP Labs’ chief technology officer Shane Wall; and K. Birgitta Whaley, an expert in quantum information at the University of California at Berkeley.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/10/22/industry-dominates-trumps-new-council-science-advisers/

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Reply Industry dominates Trump's new council of science advisers (Original post)
Mrs. Overall Oct 22 OP
sakabatou Oct 22 #1
cab67 Oct 22 #2

Response to Mrs. Overall (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 02:37 PM

1. Nobody should be shocked by this

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Response to Mrs. Overall (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 02:53 PM

2. I'm torn about something.

Obviously, a science and technology advisory board with few actual scientists is a problem. But as a working scientist myself, I would have to question the judgment of any scientist who agreed to serve on such a board. There is ample evidence that those who don't toe the line in this administration get shit-canned straight away. I might have made sense in the early months of 2017, on the theory that having reasonable voices involved in the discussion would be valuable, but it's now abundantly clear that there's no discussion at all, and that reasonable voices are either ignored or silenced. We all have better things to do with our time.

I'm not sure the scientists who would eagerly serve in this capacity are the kinds of scientists we'd want to see on the board.

It might almost be better not to have such an advisory board at this time. The people we'd want on it aren't foolish enough to waste their time, and we probably wouldn't want the people who would be involved..

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