The White House’s war on scientists continues.
The Trump Administration has proposed huge cuts to the Environment Protection Agency budget, and has already enacted a gag order on government scientists, and wiped of any mention of climate change from the White House website.
On Friday the National Space Council was reinstated, and a ‘Space Corp’ was proposed as another branch of the US armed services.
Yet the same day also marked the informal end of the Science Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
On Friday, the final three employees left.
One of the three, Elle Celeste, tweeted this as she departed:
The OSTP was created by the Congress in 1976, a successor to earlier offices supporting the President’s Science Advisor.
Its duties are to advise the Executive Office of the President, and in recent years its efforts have focused on STEM education and biotechnology.
The three members of the science division were holdover appointments from the Obama Administration.
Across all departments and agencies the President has been slow to make appointments.
As of 16 June, only 151 nominees to more than 500 vacancies had been named.
The figures were compiled by the Partnership for Public Service.
On Saturday the White House refuted that the science division was without staff.
An official from the OSTP told the Hill there were in fact 12 employees working for the science division, but claimed it had been organised differently.