President Donald Trump has broken with previous administrations in nominating academically unqualified individuals to positions dealing with the environment, human health, and other scientific stations. In addition, numerous positions have yet to receive nominations at all.
Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions — including two for Health and Human Services secretary — almost 60 percent did not have a master's degree or a doctorate in a science or health field, according to an Associated Press analysis. For their immediate predecessors in the Obama administration, it was almost the opposite: more than 60 percent had advanced science degrees.
The Trump administration has not been shy about its position on science-related issues, particularly renewable energies and climate change.
"This is just reflective of the disdain that the administration has shown for science," said Christie Todd Whitman, a former Republican New Jersey governor and Environmental Protection Agency chief.
Aside from nominating less-than-ideal candidates, the Trump administration has failed even to nominate individuals to fill numerous vacancies.
In 35 percent of the 65 senate-confirmable positions that deal with science and environment, the Trump administration hasn't nominated someone yet, including all four top positions at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Of the 23 positions that President Donald Trump hasn't nominated anyone yet to fill after 10 months, Barack Obama had picked nominees in 18 of those posts by the same time in 2009.