On August 23, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing to consider the nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Both Senators from Droegemeier’s home state of Oklahoma took the opportunity to introduce the nominee, highlighting his public and community service, as well as his dedication to separating politics and science.
Senators from both parties, including Committee Chair Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), praised Droegemeier’s qualifications and reputation for impartiality in science. Senators questioned Droegemeier on research and development competition from China, sexual harassment in science and academia, and climate change. Dr. Droegemeier took opportunities to highlight the importance of social and behavioral science in responding to questions about natural disasters and advancements in social media and technology, reminding Senators that it is important to consider and research the human and social elements of these issues.
The committee is expected to vote on Dr. Droegemeier’s confirmation on September 5. Following committee approval, the nomination must be approval by the full U.S. Senate. A recording of the hearing is available on the committee’s website.