ESA Special Policy Letter: The Transition

ESA joined with 29 leading scientific societies and  sent a letter requesting that President-elect Trump appoint a science advisor with the title of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who is a nationally respected leader with the appropriate engineering, scientific, management and policy skills necessary for this critically important role.

November 23, 2016


Mr. Donald Trump
Office of President-Elect
1800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006


Dear President-elect Trump,

On behalf of the U.S. scientific, engineering, and higher education community we are looking forward to working with you, as 45th President of the United States, and your administration. As President you will face a wide range of domestic and international challenges, from protecting national and energy security, to ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness, curing diseases, and responding to natural disasters. These challenges share one thing in common: the need for scientific knowledge and technological expertise to address them successfully.

For this reason, we urge that you quickly appoint a science advisor with the title of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who is a nationally respected leader with the appropriate engineering, scientific, management and policy skills necessary for this critically important role. This senior level advisor can assist you in determining effective ways to use science and technology to address major national challenges. Moreover, this individual can coordinate relevant science and technology policy and personnel decisions within the executive branch of government.

The economic benefits of advancements in science, technology and innovation have been well documented, estimated by leading economists to have accounted for approximately half of U.S. economic growth over the last fifty years. Past government investments in the U.S. scientific and technological enterprise have fueled our economy, created new jobs, and ensured our global competitiveness and national security. At the same time, these investments have enabled the development of a system of U.S. research universities and national laboratories unmatched in the world.

We know that one of your top priorities will be to focus on ensuring that the U.S. economy remains strong and continues to grow. If we are to maintain America’s global leadership, and respond to the economic and security challenges currently facing the nation, we must build on our strong history of federal support for innovation, entrepreneurship and science and technology.

Toward that end we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you or leaders of your transition team to discuss how the science and engineering community can assist with developing a path forward to ensure that the U.S. innovation infrastructure grows and flourishes under your administration and to suggest candidates for top science and technology posts.

–Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your response.

You may contact Joanne Carney  with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)to coordinate a convenient meeting time, and we will follow up with a proposed list of attendees.

Rush D. Holt Chief Executive Officer American Association for the Advancement of Science

Kevin B. Marvel Executive Officer American Astronomical Society

Donna J. Nelson President American Chemical Society

Chris McEntee Executive Director and CEO American Geophysical Union

Milan P. Yager Executive Director American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

Robert G.W. Brown Chief Executive Officer American Institute of Physics

Kate P. Kirby Chief Executive Officer American Physical Society

Martin Frank Executive Director American Physiological Society

Stefano Bertuzzi Chief Executive Officer American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Crispin Taylor Chief Executive Officer American Society of Plant Biologists

Nancy Kidd Executive Officer American Sociological Association

Robert H. Rich Executive Director Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS)

Thomas G. Loughlin Executive Director ASME

Sarah Brookhart Executive Director Association for Psychological Science

Mary Sue Coleman President Association of American Universities

Peter McPherson President Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Keith Yamamoto Chair Coalition for the Life Sciences RADM

Jonathan White (ret., USN) President and CEO Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Wendy A. Naus Executive Director Consortium of Social Science Associations

Madeleine Jacobs President and CEO Council of Scientific Society Presidents

David M. Lodge President Ecological Society of America

Howard H. Garrison Deputy Executive Director for Policy Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Shirley M. Tilghman Co-founder Rescuing Biomedical Research

Mary Woolley President Research!America

John C. Nemeth Executive Director and CEO SIGMA Xi, The Scientific Research Society

Thomas Grumbly President SoAR Foundation

Marty Saggese Executive Director Society for Neuroscience

Peter Walter President The American Society for Cell Biology

Elizabeth A. Rogan Chief Executive Officer The Optical Society (OSA)