President Donald Trump has named White House science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier to serve as acting director of the National Science Foundation.
Concerns about international intellectual property theft are feeding into the formulation of new guidelines for auditing federal research funding. And the White House’s science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier, says he’s trying to make sure the guidelines don’t become too restrictive.
“For research security in particular, I can tell you that we’ve developed a policy for guidance to agencies that is really good,” Droegemeier said today during a town hall session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in Seattle. “Let me just tell you, a year ago, I was concerned about where it was going to land, because I thought it was pretty heavy-duty. It would increase burden and wouldn’t actually address the challenges.”
Since then, the guidelines have been adjusted to respond to input received from international partners and from the Joint Committee on the Research Environment, or JCORE, which includes representatives from academia and industry as well as government agencies.
“The one thing that we don’t want to do is build really tall fences around really big areas,” Droegemeier, a meteorologist who heads the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, told attendees. “That would hamstring our research enterprises, and that’s not the right approach.”
After the session, Droegemeier told GeekWire that the guidelines would be released soon but didn’t provide a precise time frame.
Congress hasn’t yet approved a federal budget for the fiscal year that starts next month, but the White House is already setting an agenda for research and development in 2021.
Hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, nuclear energy research and missions to the moon are among the priorities listed in a memo sent out to federal agencies last week by White House science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier and acting budget director Russell Vought.
Years after claiming that concerns over climate change were a “total, and very expensive, hoax,” President Donald Trump has chosen a widely respected expert on extreme weather and climate impacts to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The selection of University of Oklahoma meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier won high praise even from critics of Trump’s environmental policies, including the Obama administration’s science adviser, John Holdren.