It’s been a big week in science policy with lots of scandals and reports coming out of the White House.
The office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) have just put out this report called
Science & Technology Highlights in the First Year of the Trump Administration.
This is being heralded as not just a report, but a cry of desperation by the OSTP, for a number of reasons.
The OSTP doesn’t usually put out these kind of ‘first year highlight’s documents, the usually only point out problems and propose solutions, they’re there to make policy, that’s what they do. The fact they’re bragging shows they’re making a big effort to align themselves with Trump
The report is making a big song and dance about crediting Trump for all these amazing achievements in everything from Cyber Security, Energy, and winning nobel prizes. The thing is, most of those initiatives were started by President Obama or earlier.
Crediting these achievement to Trump seems like a attempt to get in the president’s good books. It’s no secret Republicans has been trying to cut science funding.
Notice Trump’s name in the title? That’s extremely unusual, if anything reports should say “President”. He’s also quoted on the first page, and his name is mentioned in EVERY paragraph. It’s a stunning play to his ego.
Why include Trump’s name so many times? Pundits speculate the OSTP is playing the game as the National Security Council. Who said:
We put Trump’s name in ‘as many memo paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned’
The said they strategically include the President’s name in the reports “to ensure that he keeps reading and doesn’t get distracted”
Trump gets distracted:
Australia – my country – has just announced an Ambassador for Women in Science, to
The Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement to coincide with this week International Women’s Day.
Ever since the Trump election, scientists have been taking a greater interest in getting involved in politics. Groups like 314 Action have been formed in the last few years specifically to train and support scientists running for office.
This week’s Texas Democratic Primary Elections this was the first test for Scientists seeking Election to Congress, and the results were mixed.
Bad news is that Jason Westin, was knocked out of the race – Westin is a clinical oncologist competing in the seventh congressional district in Houston, Texas.
Jon Powell – a Retired geologist – also lost, he was running for the 36th congressional district in eastern Texas.
But on the plus side:
Mary Wilson came first in her race, she’s is a former Austin Community College mathematics professor turned Christian minister – interesting combination. Whilst she came first in her race, she only scored 31% of the vote, and so She’ll now compete for the Democratic nomination with Joseph Kopser, a Army veteran who is with an ALSO a huge advocate of science based policy, he holds an aerospace engineering degree and is endorsed by 314 Action. So whether its Wilson or Kopser who wins the Democratic nomination on 22 May, it will definitely be a win for scientists.
Wilson and Kopser are competing to represent the 21st congressional district of Texas.
This video is presented by Jayde Lovell.
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Produced by Jayde Lovell and Bec Susan Gill. ScIQ is a partner of the The Young Turks Network.
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