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Trump to Pick Non-Scientist for Top USDA Scientist

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Trump to Pick Non-Scientist for Top USDA Scientist

President Trump is set to nominate Sam Clovis, a former economics professor and conservative talk show radio host, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's top scientific position, according to reports.


Clovis, an early advisor to the Trump campaign, has a master's in business administration and a doctoral degree in public administration, and appears to have no published scientific or academic work to his name.

In a 2014 interview, Clovis called evidence of climate change "junk science," claiming that he has "enough of a science background to know when I'm being boofed."

"If the president goes forward with this nomination, it'll be yet another example of blatant dismissal of the value of scientific expertise among his administration appointees," Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement.

"Continuing to choose politics over science will give farmers and consumers little confidence that the administration has their interests at heart."

Clovis may want to check in with American farmers before taking his new job: A piece in the Wall Street Journal this weekend highlights how farmers across the country are adjusting to a "new normal" of volatile weather putting crops at risk due to climate change.

For a deeper dive:

Clovis: Washington Post, Pro Publica, Mashable

Farming: WSJ

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