And then, of course, there’s the Trump administration’s anti-science agenda. From a Cabinet stuffed with climate change deniers to enormous budget cuts to federal science research programs – including a 24 percent cut to the beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget – these Congressional bills have cropped up at a strange time in the American political discourse.
There’s something decidedly paradoxical about encouraging women to take up STEM careers when it looks like there won’t be many left by the time they graduate. Science needs funding, plain and simple, but every action taken by the resurgent Republican Party in 2017 amounts to nothing less than trampling on so much of America’s scientific legacy.
With this in mind, it’s worth pointing out that as the pro-STEM bills were signed, Trump also added his signature to one of his own Executive Orders, one that aims to “review” the way public waterways are protected from pollution under the EPA’s Clean Water Rule.
This act essentially ensures over 110 million Americans have safe drinking water, and it’s backed by hard-and-fast science. This order seeks to weaken it just so fossil fuel companies can get away with a little more fracking and a little less regulation.
So yes, the signing of the STEM bills are a good thing – but the wider picture confirms that Trump is far more of a threat to science than he is a friend to it.
[H/T: Chicago Tribune]