Under the Scope: How Trump’s Presidency is Impacting Science


Currently, the United States is leading in scientific research; however if Trump continues to put this area of study on the back burner, there is a chance that we will lose this title.

Back in May 2017, President Trump made significant cuts to the budgets of U.S. scientific research. This affected major organizations like the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Trump’s plans also cut $102 million from the earth science program at NASA.

It is clear, based on his budget cuts, where environmental science sits on Donald Trump’s list of priorities. Very, very low. Obviously Trump thinks, despite piles and piles of data and evidence, that global warming is a comical hoax. This was very evident in his recent tweets about New Years Eve temperatures disproving climate change, which surely made every person who has any knowledge on how the earth works, roll their eyes or gag.

The EPA took the greatest hit. Trump wanted to cut 31 percent of their funding. This impacted the agency’s climate change science, the Clean Power Plan, which was made to cut emissions from power plants, hazardous substance studies and multiple restoration projects. A few programs completely lost funding, eliminating them.

This organization does multitudes of work to improve environmental and human health. Now, though, the agency, clearly with many others, may not be able to continue their research and studies so persistently.

Though he does not support NASA’s Earth science program, Trump is pushing space exploration. It seems as though he believes that they should focus more on space than earth. Makes sense.

Member of Science National Honors Society member, Jillian Austin, agrees that, “environmental science is definitely being affected the most. Conservation is probably going to be influenced negatively.”

Donald Trump’s main priorities include the economy, immigration, and military. These are all extremely important, but his unconcern for science is quite sad. Science and technology are what propel societies and save lives.

In Trump’s 2018 proposal, he plans to cut budgets for NIH, carbon monitoring at NASA, the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation and many more organizations. The medical and science community are irate by these plans. Many believe Trump’s ideas of a healthy and successful country are impossible with this funding.

Gabi Burke, a MJHS student very involved in science, claims, “ I think science is crucial to the progression of society. Without research we cannot succeed as a country or prevent natural occurences that could be potentially dangerous to people’s well being.”

The Scientists’ March on Washington last April was not unjustified. They felt Trump’s propositions attacked their community, and based off of Trump’s lack of drive for advancement and spending plans, they were not wrong. Perhaps within the next three years, China will surpass the U.S. as the leading country in scientific research.

Burke is confident, however, that the United States won’t fall behind.

“I am no expert on political changes affecting scientific research, but I have faith that we will continue to be number one in research. I’d like to hope that we continue on this pathway regardless,” she explains.

Science will never cease to expand regardless of any bumps in the road. This idea was presented by Burke. She believes that it is a wide term and field that applies to many parts of society and economy.

In order make science a priority again, we should be working to educate the country on the importance of progress through scientific research. Raising awareness of certain issues that need to be dealt with, especially with the environment, could very much help everyone see how significant science is.

#Feature #opinion #sabrinaaustin

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