TS Picks: March 30, 2017

Obama administration’s science advisers stick together; “allies confident” NIH Director Francis Collins can dissuade Congress from approving drastic budget cuts; how Brexit may affect scientists

Tracy Vence
Mar 30, 2017


Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • While the president of the U.S. has not yet chosen a director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), former members of the office—including some who departed along with the Obama administration—“continue to work together, largely behind the scenes,” The Washington Post reported. “There was a pretty explicit sense of community-building as people walked out the door,” Kumar Garg, who was a senior adviser inside Obama’s OSTP, told the newspaper. “People have this really strong sense of mission that they want to carry forward.”
  • An Obama administration appointee, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, who was been asked to remain on with the agency for an indeterminate amount of time, faces unchartered financial opposition from the Trump administration. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Dr. Collins has allies confident that in a year of unimaginable political events, his status as one of the new president’s highest-ranking voluntary holdovers can not only straddle the ideological chasms before him but largely save the NIH in the process.”
  • According to study published last month (February 1) in Science Communication, “once people know how little the U.S. spends on science, they support more funding,” Science News reported.
  • Since Britain voted to separate from the European Union, scientists in the country and abroad have shared concerns over collaboration, funding, and regulatory decisions. This week, Nature takes a look at how the separation, which UK Prime Minister Theresa May set into motion yesterday, “is changing the lives of eight researchers” in Germany, Sweden, and the U.K.