Skip to main content

Holdren on Hold

The Washington Post is reporting today that the nomination of John Holdren for the top presidential science advisor has been held up in Congress. Furthermore his nomination, along with Jane Lubchenco for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, is reportedly only being blocked by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to call attention to an unrelated Cuba matter.

This is silly. Now is not the time to be playing politics with scientists as pawns. The United States is facing too many critical science related issues from climate change, to an energy crunch, to stem cell research, to be bouncing around important positions like this.

Holdren is currently director of the Woods Hole Research Center. Before focusing on the environment and policy, he specialized in plasma physics research. Once confirmed he would be the chief advisor to the president on all science matters.

Lubchenco hails from Oregon State University and as head of the NOAA would be in charge of all ocean and atmosphere research conducted by the federal government.

The unnamed source who pointed to Menendez as the source of the anonymous hold said it had nothing to do with the qualifications of the individuals. Should Menendez lift the hold, it's likely that Holdren and Lubchenco would be quickly confirmed.

Grr!

Comments

Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know:
"What's going on in this video? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream.

(We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux)

Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?