The top “science adviser” in President Donald Trump’s administration is a 31-year-old man who has an undergraduate degree in political science.
Scientific American reports that Michael Kratsios, a former chief of staff to Trump ally Peter Thiel, is now serving as the de facto head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy because President Donald Trump still hasn’t nominated anyone to serve as his official science adviser.
Kratsios graduated from Princeton University in 2008 with a political science degree that featured a concentration in American politics. He lists himself as a technology adviser on his website, and he doesn’t mention anything about having a background in hard sciences.
Scientific American notes that not having an actual scientist at the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy could have dire consequences in the midst of a public health crisis.
“The post is empty during one of the worst flu seasons in more than a decade,” the publication writes. “The virus has killed dozens of people across the country.”
A group of Democratic lawmakers recently wrote to Trump asking him to appoint an official science adviser by arguing that “in previous administrations, OSTP was central to disaster mitigation efforts, including hurricanes.”