OSTP finally gets director

After nearly 600 days in office, the Trump administration has appointed a director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Kelvin Droegemeier, vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma and a former vice-chair of the governing board of the National Science Foundation. According to my confidential sources, the American Institute of Physics and Science magazine, Dr. Droegemeier, who has also been a science advisor to the governor of Oklahoma and to Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, is a very solid choice.

Dr. Droegemeier is a meteorologist whose research focused on supercomputers and atmospheric modeling, primarily of thunderstorms. He founded 2 NSF centers while at the University of Oklahoma.

John Holdren, a former director of OSTP, told Science, “He has experience speaking science to power.” Dr. Holdren also told Science, perhaps with some understatement, that Dr. Droegemeier has “a big challenge ahead of him. … I look forward to seeing what he’s able to accomplish in a very challenging circumstance.” Indeed, the optimists among us can only hope with Rick Anthes of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research that he may be at least “a small voice of reason.”