Trump Appoints Alan Stern to National Science Board

Alan Stern

WASHINGTON (White House PR) — President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to be Members of the National Science Board for the remainder of six-year terms expiring May 10, 2024:

  • Maureen L. Condic of Utah
  • Suresh V. Garimella of Indiana
  • Steven Leath of Alabama
  • Geraldine Richmond of Oregon
  • S. Alan Stern of Colorado
  • Stephen Willard of Maryland
  • Maria Theresa Zuber of Massachusetts

  • windbourne

    what idiot(s) made up this board?
    NOTHING about nuclear power. W, O, and now Trump all screw up by not appointing any nuke person.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It just shows how very successful the environmentalists have been in making nuclear power into an evil technology even though it was, and still is, the most viable technology for reducing the emissions of green house gases.

  • mike shupp

    Interesting — there are TWO planetary scientists on this list. Stern is new, Zuber is being reappointed, after previously serving as NSB president. Note that there’s one more appointee to come, since the full board should have 8 members.

    Biologist, chemist, ME, medicine… The unifying characteristic I see after Googling the names is that at this point in their careers these are high-level research administrators. “Vice President of Academic Research at the University of Kansas”, “Founder and CEO of Antisorbic Bioproducts, Inc.” — that sort of thing. Experience with medium scale programs, say hundred million dollar per year with one or two hundred person staffs, running over a decade or more.

    This isn’t really the sort of thing one thinks of anymore when contemplating nuclear energy. Nuclear power plants are pretty much standardized; they’re construction projects anymore, not research programs, and there’s not much interest anywhere in the world in pushing the state of the art. The US — and everybody else — pretty much abandoned R&D in the field back in the 1970s, and this isn’t likely to change soon. (I think the US spends about 2 billion dollars per year on advanced atomic power research.)

    Not to get in a fist fight here with anyone about whether this is How Things Ought To Be. I think the sidelining of nuclear power is stupidly short-sighted. The point l’m actually trying to make is that the sort of people picked to give advice and guidance to the National Science Foundation don;t really have counterparts in the atomic power business.

  • windbourne

    yeah. I have to agree that a number of the far left environmentalists are behind it. However, they are idiots. Total freaking idiots. AGW is a far far more important isssue and we are running out of options.
    At this point, if we do not start building a number of nukes and replacing the coal plants we are in for real trouble.

  • windbourne


    This isn’t really the sort of thing one thinks of anymore when contemplating nuclear energy. Nuclear power plants are pretty much standardized; they’re construction projects anymore, not research programs, and there’s not much interest anywhere in the world in pushing the state of the art. The US — and everybody else — pretty much abandoned R&D in the field back in the 1970s, and this isn’t likely to change soon. (I think the US spends about 2 billion dollars per year on advanced atomic power research.)

    eh, no.
    The fact is, that we need 4th gen SMRs, not the monster 3rd gen that Westinghouse/Toshiba/GE are pushing.
    We also need ones that will consume the current nuke waste.
    For all of this, we need money to flow to start-up companies just like we did for Solar/Wind.
    And there are plenty of great minds over at DoE that can and should be on NSF.
    Hopefully the 2 missing will be nuke related.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, it was very stupid and is a major contributor to the current global warming. If those nuclear power plants had not been blocked by the environmentalist lawsuits the CO2 levels would still be in the low to medium 300 ppm level. When you home floods from global warming don’t forget to send Green Peace and the Sierra Club a thank you letter.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, there are lots of advances possible in nuclear energy and in recycling nuclear waste. The problem is that most of the folks that claim they are pro-science reject the field of nuclear science.

  • ThomasLMatula

    The other problem is that it is really beyond the control of the United States. Our carbon output has been falling since 2005 due to economic forces as much as by government regulation. But China and India’s output is skyrocking. China is by far the largest emitter of CO2 from their many coal plants and India is rapidly over taking the United States and will soon be in second place. And their is nothing the infamous Paris Accord is able to do because it doesn’t hold them to any limits for many years into the future, one of the many reasons that made it a bad treaty to sign. The only real hope for the world is a collapse of the Chinese economy.

  • windbourne

    WOW.
    Somebody else who sees it CORRECTLY.
    That is exactly the right points.
    China is adding over 259 GW of new coal plants by 2020, JUST IN CHINA.
    THey are adding another 300 GW of NEW coal plants in 3rd world nations.

    For us to have ANY chance of stopping CO2 growth, let alone drop it down, we have to quit adding fossil fuel plants. It is OK to replace OLD ones with new ones, but they have to put out less CO2 than what the old one was doing. In America, our Co2 is dropping because of 90’s Dems, 00’s GOP, and then 008’s Dems. It has nothing to do with what O did. And we need other nations to follow the same route.

    We do not need CHina’s economy to collapse. One of the best ways to stop this issue is for ALL NATIONS to cut back together. The best way is for America to have an increasing tax on all goods/services, that is based on where the WORST part/service comes from.
    So, if all parts come from say Iceland, then they have ZERO tax. Why? Because they have next to no emissions.
    If 1 single part comes from China, then they have 100% of that tax.
    If the part comes from say CA, or say UK, then tax would be around 30-50%.
    THis way, all businesses and gov will have a STRONG interest in cutting emissions, as well as rewarding nations/states that have low emissions with no taxes on goods, it would cause ALL to drop.

  • windbourne

    No, they reject science. Period.
    It is no different than somebody claiming that vaccines are harming us, or that Genetic manipulation is harmful (if any of those idiots had a brain, they would be claiming that the pesticides are harmful, which IS true, but the GMO itself is not an issue).
    Same problem with those rejecting the AGW science, evolution, etc.

  • Andrew

    That might have been true in the 70’s but today we have the fact that solar and wind have become very cheap. Nuke plants have lost in the market place. If you want government funds for this effort then some politician will have to fight for those funds. And ALL politicians care more about being re-elected than any one issue. All the public thinks about nuclear power is Chernobyl and Fukushima… So unless an “Angel Investor” like Musk or Bezos will build one with their own funds and try to sell the electricity at a profit NO NUKES.

  • windbourne

    uh no.
    In fact, you should be paying attention to CA.
    Right now, Their electricity is NOT coming from Solar. It is imported from fossil fuels and nuke power, along with wind. Why? Because the fires have killed the solar. If not for the santa anna winds, the wind generators would not be running.

    As to costs, solar/wind are far more expensive than nukes ONCE you add in storage. In addition, solar remains more expensive than nukes. Yes, wind is cheap. BUT again, it is intermittent.
    Imagine being on EVs when Yellowstone blows. Do you want to be on pure solar/wind or have an assortment of energy?

  • Andrew

    Regardless of cost nuclear has become politically untouchable. So while I agree with you and others that realize what incredible value advanced nuclear power would have on our carbon free energy portfolio… It just ain’t gonna happen in this political climate.

    This new NASA Sterling 10k reactor is fail safe in almost every way. Can it be scaled up? Probably. Can ultra safe nuclear energy plants be designed? Of course! But there is this Chernobyl and Fukushima problem that had screwed us out of this solution. Fear is the most powerful motivator.. and people are terrified of anything nuclear.

  • duheagle

    Those on the political left who are noisily “pro-science” when it comes to AGW are also way more likely to be anti-vaxxers and anti-GMO. The most consistently anti-evolution demographic is African-Americans.

    Those of us who reject AGW do so because of the obvious politically-motivated corruption, not to mention data corruption, that has been well-documented in the field. To a very good first-order approximation, there is no AGW “science,” there are only mathematical models, none of which have ever proven to be even approximately accurate.

  • duheagle

    Pointing to politicians – even Republican politicians – as a reason for falling U.S. CO2 emissions is just bonkers. There is one, and only one, reason for the drop – vast new supplies of cheap natural gas obtained via so-called fracking since the early 2000’s have replaced a large fraction of the coal formerly burned to provide baseload electrical energy. This process continues.

    Democratic politicians and activists – all of whom are also major proponents of the AGW myth, especially former President Obama – fought the rise of fracking at every turn. The left isn’t interested in solving problems, they’re interested in using problems as vehicles with which to acquire power. If a suitable genuine problem doesn’t exist, they’ll happily make one up. Fortunately – for economic rationality, not because of AGW – Obama and the rest of the U.S. left were unsuccessful in putting the fracking genie back in the bottle. Trump has since unilaterally overturned all Obama’s fracking restrictions.

    AGW is a fraud cooked up by leftists to justify massive interference with markets and other aspects of personal liberty that have long been part of the leftist program. Your draconian taxation notions are a typical example. The left always tries to scare people with some non-existent danger in order to get them to do what the leftists want. The AGW myth has been working better, longer, than other fake dangers so it has come to dominate “The Narrative.”

  • James

    Nuclear power is basically dead because it has no utility to politicians. Think,

    Oil has the massive industry and such that provides jobs for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands all around the country.
    Coal provided Lots of jobs in small states all around the country…now those jobs have dried up as coal became more and more automated and used less….now no one cares.
    GAS same as oil.
    Solar, Wind, Hyrdo….same thing.

    Just like with everyone else its all fodder for the political machine.

  • Michael Halpern

    AGW has overwhelming evidence for it that it can’t be considered a myth, any more than the effect of CFCs on the Ozone layer could be just before they were banned

  • windbourne

    We should be fearing AGW, which is not just a threat, much more than new 4th gen SMR.

  • Andrew

    The Right pounded on All Gore for his position on this and turned AGW into a partisan issue and now doesn’t know how to get back. The right have been funding the AGW denial machine with 100’s of millions of dollars for decades. The right is BY FAR more culpable than the left on this issue. The left has been a champion of solving climate change from the beginning. The only thing the left won’t support is a renewed push to Nuclear but then the right hasn’t either so… I doubt very seriously you can say they are BOTH guilty.

  • duheagle

    No, it doesn’t. AGW is not science, it’s a secular religion with a catechism, non-falsifiable dogmas, a closed clergy, an Inquisition that has driven “heretics” from the field and legions of know-nothing zealots eager to enforce conformity on the heathen by threats and force. It resembles nothing quite so much as Medieval Catholicism or contemporary Islam.

  • duheagle

    Al Gore is just one of many leftists who leapt on the AGW bandwagon to advance his political career and ideological agenda, not because he has any real understanding of the junk “science” behind it. According to him the entire North Polar Ice Cap should have disappeared five years ago. Blaming the right for opposing this pack of lies cooked up by corrupt leftist academics in an attempt to advance decades-old statist policies is a form of blaming the victim.

    The “AGW denial machine” is pretty much imaginary, just like AGW. There are a couple or three tiny think tanks like Heartland with miniscule budgets that are also shared across other agenda items besides opposing the AGW lie. The AGW promotion machine, on the other hand, is quite real and commands annual financial resources in the billions, much of it extorted from taxpayers. It has entire university departments, professorships, endowed chairs, censored journals and legions of patronage drones – oops, I meant ideologically vetted grad students – to populate the Potemkin Village that is AGW. Like “Ethnic Studies” and “Diversity,” the left has turned another of its pet enthusiasms into a lucrative swamp of corrupt academic patronage for its worst idealogues and stuck the taxpayers with the bill.

  • Michael Halpern

    Actually it is very falsifiable, reduce carbon emissions and see how it effects average global temperature, if it doesn’t, then it is falsified, if it does than it is proven

  • Andrew

    ha ha ha…. alright then. That makes perfect sense. Care to back that up?

  • Andrew

    so… All the giga tons of coal burned around the world has no effect on the climate? Is that your position? If you put all the coal burning plants in the world side by side in your city then… All good right? All the climate scientist who STUDY this are all wrong right? Just a big collective lie to get more research money? Yup makes perfect sense.

  • windbourne

    Both are guilty. There is no chance of using 100% solar/wind/storage to solve this. We need multiple baseload power. Even now, the nations that are pushing solar/wind have to count heavily on thermal power and remain heavy polluters.

    Otoh, nations with hydro, Geothermal, and nukes, are dropping their CO2 emissions to best in the world.