President Donald Trump’s newly-announced nominee to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an elected official with no science credentials.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Ohio), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, is “unlike previous NASA administrators,” Newsweek notes, as “the 42-year-old Michigan native does not have any formal qualifications in science or engineering, having earned a triple bachelor’s degree in economics, psychology, and business from Rice University, and later an MBA from Cornell University.”
“Some might say that the government has seemed increasingly reluctant to leave science to the scientists,” writes CNET‘s Chris Matyszczyk.
The former Navy Reserve pilot also served as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum before being elected to Congress in 2012.
“NASA scientists have led the way in documenting the scientific reality of climate change,” writes ThinkProgress‘ Joe Romm.
But in 2013, Bridenstine not only gave a speech on the House floor filled with standard denier talking points, he actually ended his remarks with a demand that President Obama apologize for funding research into climate science.
“Mr. Speaker, global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago,” he falsely claimed.
ArsTechnica reported last month that Bridenstine “was championed by several commercial space companies because he is open to increased privatization of U.S. civil and military space activities.”
The pick also drew criticism from Florida Sens. Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D). Rubio mentioned concerns over his “political baggage,” while Nelson told Politico that the “head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician.”
Reacting to the nomination, Bill McKibben tweeted that Bridenstine “seems a tad murky on the topic of how planets work.”
Um, Trump’s nominee to head…