Trump's latest senior science nominees are a talk-radio ignoramus and a career poisoner

The Department of Agriculture's chief scientist oversees more than 1,000 scientists in 100 research facilities: Trump's pick to run the agency is Sam Clovis, a climate-denying talk-radio host who not only lacks any kind of scientific degrees -- he didn't take a single science course at university.

Meanwhile, Trump has nominated Michael Dourson to head the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention; Dourson's last job was at the helm of Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, the company that DuPont picked when it needed experts who would claim that its toxic waste wasn't so bad for the people who were imbibing it.

Here's a little taste of Sam Clovis, the talk radio host Trump picked to run the department that keeps us all from starving to death: "After the interviewer highlighted the widespread acceptance of climate change within the scientific community, Clovis responded by saying, in effect, that scientists were trying to fool him. 'I have looked at the science, and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed,' he said. (Pro Publica checked and found that Clovis had never even taken an undergraduate level course in any science.)."

And here's some on Dourson, who Trump says will keep us all from being poisoned every time we draw breath or turn on our taps: "In 2002, the company helped West Virginia set a safety threshold of 150 parts per billion (ppb) — a number that stayed in place from 2002 to 2006, and determined whom DuPont was obligated to provide with clean water during this period. That number was 150 times higher than the maximum safety level DuPont’s own scientists had determined in 1988 — 1 pbb — based on internal company research showing that PFOA was toxic to both workers and lab animals."

It was a good run when it lasted. See you in the Medicare hospital.

(Oh, shit.)


Trump wants a talk-radio host to be the USDA’s chief scientist [John Timmer/Ars Technica]

(Image: Alex Hanson, CC-BY)