Presidential Election and STEM

From Genome Web News : Researchers React to Election News

Researchers tell Nature News that they are alarmed by Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential race. Researchers say they are worried about what a Trump presidency will mean for science, particularly for funding and research priorities.

Ecologist Becky Carmichael tweeted at Nature News that she foresees “[r]estrictions in funding opportunities, more scrutiny on research questions, [and] no funding for climate change.”

In a separate article, Nature News notes that while science wasn’t a main focus of the drawn-out campaign, Trump has taken some stances, such as questioning the science behind climate change and proposing immigration limits, that have concerned researchers and science advocates.

“I think at the very least it would put a chilling effect on the interest of scientists from other countries in coming here,” Kevin Wilson, director of public policy and media relations at the American Society for Cell Biology, says.

Republicans have also kept control of the US House of Representatives and the Senate, which will make it easier for White House policies to pass and for nominees to be confirmed, Nature News says.

In addition, ScienceInsider notes that many science-related positions in the federal government are political appointments and that President Barack Obama has said he will ask his appointees to submit resignation letters to take effect on Inauguration Day, January 20th. This means there will be vacancies in the top spots at the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others.

At the same time, the election means there will be shuffling among members of Congress for committee positions. ScienceInsider says that changes are expected among members of the Senate appropriations panel that oversees funding as well as the chair of the House Appropriations Committee and the House Energy and Commerce committee chair.

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