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What Donald Trump said (and didn’t say) about tech

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union Address to Congress with Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan in the background. (White House Photo)

Immigration, tax cuts and crime loomed large in President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address, but technology and innovation went unmentioned tonight during a speech that lasted nearly an hour and a half.

The word “science” was used once, toward the end, when Trump paid tribute to the American people. “They push the bounds of science and discovery,” he said.

There was no mention of space exploration, as there was when Trump addressed Congress last year soon after taking office. The impacts of climate change, artificial intelligence and automation — trends that are already reshaping the nation and the world — went unaddressed. Not a word was spoken about the internet or net (non-)neutrality.

Such omissions didn’t sit well with science policy experts such as Rush Holt, a former Democratic congressman who now serves as the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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