Thursday, January 2, 2020


Woodrow Wilson was the President who began the transformation of the U.S. federal government into a collection of huge bureaucracies staffed by supposedly neutral and apolitical “experts” who could run things so much better than we ordinary humans could. A hundred plus years into this, we now have dozens of massive bureaucracies staffed by these so-called “experts.”

President Trump appears to have a somewhat different view. The New York Times of December 28 has a piece by Brad Plumer and Coral Davenport that addresses how one particular group of these so-called “experts” — scientific ones — is faring under Trump. The headline is “Science Under Attack: How Trump Is Sidelining Researchers and Their Work.” Excerpt:

In just three years, the Trump administration has diminished the role of science in federal policymaking while halting or disrupting research projects nationwide, marking a transformation of the federal government whose effects, experts say, could reverberate for years. Political appointees have shut down government studies, reduced the influence of scientists over regulatory decisions and in some cases pressured researchers not to speak publicly. The administration has particularly challenged scientific findings related to the environment and public health opposed by industries such as oil drilling and coal mining. It has also impeded research around human-caused climate change, which President Trump has dismissed despite a global scientific consensus.


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