Trumps first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own

Jul 20, 2019 cyxnjljp

first_img The guidance on energy says the goal of federal research investments should be “a consistent, long-term supply of lower-cost American energy.” That goal, it asserts, can be achieved through “a clean energy portfolio composed of fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy sources.”It should be no surprise that Trump’s list differs markedly from previous memos from the Barack Obama administration. Obama’s top five multiagency research priorities for his 2017 budget, for example, were global climate change, clean energy, Earth observations, advanced manufacturing, and innovation in the life sciences, biology, and neuroscience. Three items on that list—climate research, Earth observations, and advanced manufacturing—are completely absent from Trump’s priorities. So are biology-based initiatives pushed by Obama, including the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative and the Precision Medicine Initiative.ReactionThe initial reaction from some veteran federal budget watchers is bemusement. “Beyond the obvious differences with Obama’s approach, this guidance also doesn’t have a lot of similarities with President Trump’s own 2018 budget request,” says Matthew Hourihan, who analyzes federal research spending for AAAS in Washington, D.C. (which publishes ScienceInsider). Hourihan contrasted the memo’s focus on support for breakthrough military technologies, technology to prevent terror attacks, and helping older Americans remain healthy with the large cuts for those same areas that Trump has proposed.Hourihan says the budget guidance’s support for so-called “precommercial technology” in energy would suggest the administration would support for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, whose mission is to explore promising ideas too risky for industry. Yet Trump has asked Congress to shut down the $300 million agency, launched in 2009. (The Senate has balked at that idea.)Kei Koizumi, who headed OSTP’s research analysis shop during the Obama administration and is now at AAAS, says the memo is consistent with Trump’s emphasis in his 2018 budget on “defense first, security second, with the economy, energy, and health after that.” But he notes that it is silent on many important activities, including support for international collaborations and for training the next generation of scientists apart from improving the technical skills of the overall U.S. workforce. “There’s also no mention of space,” he notes, despite the recent relaunching of the National Space Council. In his view, “the memo shows that the administration doesn’t have science and technology priorities as such.” Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Jeffrey MervisAug. 17, 2017 , 1:40 PM Matthew Hourihan, AAAS Beyond the obvious differences with Obama’s approach, this guidance also doesn’t have a lot of similarities with President Trump’s own 2018 budget request.  The memos typically don’t change much from year to year. But this is the first one from the new Trump administration. And it comes even as the White House lacks a presidential science adviser and OSTP director. It’s co-signed by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and Michael Kratsios, a deputy assistant to the president, who since March has also been acting as OSTP’s head.The memo lists five priority areas (in this order): military superiority, security, prosperity, energy dominance, and health. Each is prefaced by the word “American” in keeping with the administration’s approach to branding issues.The phrase “basic research” appears only in connection with prosperity, the third target area. Agencies are told to “continue, and expand where necessary, efforts to focus on basic research” to promote “emerging technologies such as autonomous systems, biometrics, energy storage, gene editing, machine learning, and quantum computing.” Even then, however, agencies are directed to “reduce funding overlaps with industry in later-stage research, development, and deployment of [these] technologies.”In the health arena, the memo says “agencies should prioritize research focused on solutions for an aging population, as well as on combating drug addiction and other public health crises.” It also lists research “that will lead to more efficient and effective healthcare.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email President Donald Trump has translated his campaign promise to “make America great again” into his administration’s first blueprint for federal investment in science and technology.The White House today issued a four-page memo telling federal agencies that their research dollars should be focused on delivering short-term dividends in strengthening national defense and border security, the economy, and “energy dominance,” as well as improving public health. It says achieving those goals should not require additional spending, and that agencies should focus primarily on basic science, and then step aside as quickly as possible to let industry pursue any results that show commercial promise.The memo, written jointly by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), is an annual reminder of the administration’s research priorities sent to agencies before they submit their next budget request. Those requests are due next month for the 2019 fiscal year that starts in October 2018. (Congress has yet to act on the budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins 1 October; most observers expect lawmakers to extend current spending levels well into the new fiscal year.) Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request Donald Trump Click to view the privacy policy. 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