Science Advisor to the President

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The Science Advisor to the President is an individual charged with providing advisory opinions and analysis on science and technology matters to the President of the United States. The first Science Advisor, Vannevar Bush, chairman of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, served Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman from 1941 to 1951. President Truman created the President's Science Advisory Committee in 1951, establishing the chairman of this committee as the President's Science Advisor. This committee continued under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon until 1973. Nixon terminated the committee rather than appointing a replacement for his advisor who had resigned. The US Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976, re-establishing Presidential Science Advisors to the present day.

In July 2018, President Donald Trump nominated meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier for the position.[1] On September 5, 2018, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation voted unanimously to approve Droegemeier's nomination, but he has not yet been confirmed by a vote of the full Senate.[2]


World War II[edit]

The OSTP evolved out of the 'Office of Scientific Research and Development created in 1941 during World War II by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Vannevar Bush chaired this office through Roosevelt's death in 1945, and continued under Roosevelt's successor Harry S. Truman until 1951.


After the war, President Harry S. Truman replaced the OSRD with the Science Advisory Committee in 1951. The office was moved to the White House on November 21, 1957, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to provide advice and recommendation in response to the Space Race started by the USSR's launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1.


President Richard M. Nixon eliminated the PSAC in 1973, rather than appointing a replacement for his second Science Advisor, Edward E. David Jr., who resigned. The United States Congress established the OSTP in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead inter-agency efforts to develop and to implement sound science and technology policies and budgets and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

Science Advisors[edit]

Name Agency President Term
Vannevar Bush portrait.jpg Vannevar Bush OSRD Franklin D. Roosevelt 1941–1945
Harry S. Truman 1945–1951
Oliver E. Buckley PSAC 1951–1952
Lee Alvin DuBridge 1952–1953
Dwight Eisenhower 1953–1956
II Rabi.jpg Isadore I. Rabi 1956–1957
James Killian 1957–1959
George Kistiakowsky ID badge.png George Kistiakowsky 1959–1961
  Jerome B. Wiesner John F. Kennedy 1961–1963
Lyndon B. Johnson 1963–1964
Donald F. Hornig 1964–1969
Lee A. DuBridge Richard Nixon 1969–1970
Edward E. David Jr. 1970–1973
H. Guyford Stever OSTP Gerald Ford 1976–1977
Frank Press Jerusalem1953.jpg Frank Press Jimmy Carter 1977–1981
Benjamin Huberman (acting) Ronald Reagan 1981
George A. Keyworth, II 1981–1985
John P. McTague (acting) 1986
Richard G. Johnson (acting) 1986
William Robert Graham, NASA photo portrait, November 1985.jpg William Robert Graham 1986–1989
Thomas P. Rona (acting) 1989
William G. Wells (acting) George H. W. Bush 1989
D. Allan Bromley 1989–1993
John H. Gibbons Bill Clinton 1993–1998
Kerri-Ann Jones.jpg Kerri-Ann Jones (acting) 1998
Neal F. Lane 1998–2001
Dean Rosina M. Bierbaum.jpg Rosina Bierbaum (acting) George W. Bush 2001
Clifford Gabriel (acting) 2001
John Marburger official portrait.jpg John H. Marburger III 2001–2009
John Holdren official portrait small.jpg John Holdren Barack Obama 2009–2017


  1. ^ Reardon, Sara; Witze, Alexandra (31 July 2018). "The wait is over: Trump taps meteorologist as White House science adviser". Nature.
  2. ^ Reardon, Sara (September 5, 2018). "Trump science-adviser pick breezes through Senate committee vote". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-06196-5.