Sam Clovis — controversial nominee for the top scientist post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — withdrew his name from consideration. Clovis has come under increasing scrutiny for his inflammatory statements and lack of science credentials, going so far as to decry climate change research as "junk science" that is "not proven." On top of being clearly unqualified for the position, news came to light this week that Clovis may also have contributed to Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election.
Adding fuel to the fire, 3,100 scientists and researchers sent a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee this week, opposing the nomination of Sam Clovis. The authors wrote:
“In every aspect, Clovis falls far short of the standards demanded by the position.”
Public opposition to Clovis has been strong from the start and contributed to postponing his confirmation hearing by several months; it was originally expected right after the August recess, but was just set for November 9. Now Clovis has backed out.
Today, we join in celebration with other partners who have also taken a stand against this nomination. As noted by PAN Senior Scientist, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman,
"Sam Clovis withdrawing is a welcome sign for those of us who value science and the well-being of farming communities."
There is no word yet on who else might be tapped for this position. Stay tuned.
Photo: Takver | Flickr