Quirks & Quarks

What will a Trump presidency mean for science?

Scientists are expressing anxiety about the effect that Donald Trump could have on research.
Scientists are concerned about President-elect Trump, but is that justified? (Steven Senne/The Associated Press)

The news this week that Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency is sending shock waves through the scientific community. Some are saying Trump will be the first anti-science president in American history. Other foreign scientists in the U.S. are saying maybe now it's time to leave. But is this reaction warranted? 

Scientific American is a publication that's been extensively covering the U.S. election, with a focus on what the results will mean for science and technology. The magazine's executive editor, Fred Guterl, says there's a question mark about what a Trump presidency will mean.

"He hasn't said a lot of specifics. For the most part, we have vague philosophies to go on and to try to fill in. On a number of things he's contradicted himself, so that's, I think, part of the anxiety is that there is so much uncertainty about what he's going to do." 

Fred Guterl tells Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald what we know, don't know, and what we might be able to expect when it comes to Trump's policies on climate change, public health research, and space science.

External Links: 

  • Scientific American editorial - Trump's views on science are shockingly ignorant
  • Nature News - Donald Trump's U.S. election win stuns scientists
  • Scientific American - Trump picks top climate skeptic to lead EPA transition
  • Science Magazine - What Trump can and can't do all by himself