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White House science adviser meets the scientists

Kelvin Droegemeier
White House science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier addresses the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., with a video image of him looming in the background. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s newly minted science adviser reached out to his peers today at one of the country’s biggest scientific meetings and called for the establishment of a “second bold era” of basic research.

“I hope that you never forget that I am one of you, that I came from your ranks,” Kelvin Droegemeier, who was sworn in as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Monday, told hundreds of attendees here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The University of Oklahoma meteorologist is coming into a job that was vacant for two years, in an administration that hasn’t exactly been viewed as science-friendly. The White House’s environmental policies are a particular sore point, in light of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and regulatory rollbacks.

But Droegemeier’s selection has gotten generally good reviews from the science community. AAAS CEO Rush Holt, a Ph.D. physicist and former congressman, took note of Droegemeier’s reputation as a “solid scientist” in his introduction.

“Everyone who works with him finds him to have a very accessible manner,” Holt said. “We scientists hope and trust that this will turn into accessible policy.”

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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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