President Trump has not yet appointed a science adviser. Apparently though, he offered the job to none other than Bill Gates. Gates declined the job saying it was “not a good use of my time.”
The president met with the founder of Microsoft in April. Gates suggested to Trump that he appoint someone to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Trump asked Gates if he would take the job, to no avail.
Bill Gates is not a scientist, but dabbles around the field. His Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds projects that focus on issues like climate change and infectious disease.
The president has taken longer to fill the science adviser position than any other modern president. The person leading the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) presently is a 31-year-old political scientist.
The OSTP leader helps the president on issues related to environment, engineering, and technology. So a “political scientist” might be the wrong kind of scientist for the job.
John Holdren held the position during the Obama administration. He said we “appear to have a president now who resists facts.” Many believe that Trump is “anti-science.”
Gates had this to say about Trump’s offer: “I didn’t put him to the test, whether that was a serious thing or not. He probably himself didn’t know if he was serious.”