Donald Trump’s disdain for science is nothing new. From calling global warming a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, to muzzling the speech of government scientists, to scrubbing government websites of climate change research, to appointing Rick Freaking Perry to oversee our country’s nuclear energy program, Trump has made a mockery of science, and the professionals who dedicate their lives to the advancement of knowledge and the betterment of our country through evidence-based inquiry.
Now, it appears that Trump is about to take the predictable next step of naming a non-scientist as the top scientist in a key government agency. Reports ProPublica: “The USDA’s research section studies everything from climate change to nutrition. Under the 2008 Farm Bill, its leader is supposed to serve as the agency’s ‘chief scientist’ and be chosen ‘from among distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.’”
“But Sam Clovis — who, according to sources with knowledge of the appointment and members of the agriculture trade press, is President Trump’s pick to oversee the section — appears to have no such credentials.”
ProPublica notes that Clovis is “better known for hosting a conservative talk radio show in his native Iowa and…[being] a fiery pro-Trump advocate on television.”
To recap: Ben Carson, with no housing experience, is the secretary of housing and urban development. Rick Perry, with no scientific background, is the head of the department of energy. Betsy DeVos, who seemingly knows nothing about public education, is the secretary of education. Now Sam Clovis is on the cusp of being the top scientist at the USDA – having never taken a graduate level science course. Remarkable.