Trump’s de facto science adviser is 31 and has no science training

Trump still hasn’t filled the top role at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

More than a year into his presidency, Donald Trump still hasn’t appointed a top science adviser. So who, then, is the top-ranking science official in the White House?

“The job falls to Michael Kratsios,” ClimateWire’s Scott Waldman writes. As the top-ranking official in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Kratsios is now the de facto top science adviser in the White House.

Kratsios is a 31-year-old with a Princeton political science degree and a focus on Hellenic (a.k.a. Greek) studies, who cut his professional teeth in Silicon Valley, according to Waldman. These are not exactly the qualifications you’d want for the person the president is supposed to turn to for advice on dealing with a disease outbreak, or an environmental disaster (though Archimedes’ principle does come in handy in explaining sea level rise).

Since 1976, the head of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has been the go-to adviser for questions on engineering, technology, science, and the environment. Barack Obama’s appointee, John Holdren, was a theoretical plasma physicist who guided Obama through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and major climate change research initiatives. George W. Bush’s was John H. Marburger, also a physicist (albeit one with a controversial record on climate and stem cell policy).

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Kratsios was first brought to the White House in March to advise the president on tech issues (and he may be well versed in tech topics such as broadband access). Kratsios is a former chief of staff to Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who has advocated for dismantling regulations at the Food and Drug Administration. In his new role as de facto lead …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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