President-elect Donald Trump will assume leadership of a nation built upon a strong maritime heritage and facing unprecedented changes to the ocean and earth system. Strengthening our national and homeland security, promoting a healthy population, fostering food safety and security, and building a dynamic workforce for the future – all while maintaining and growing our nation’s economic prosperity – are the challenges faced by the incoming president and Congress. The ocean science and technology community have the data, information, and expertise to help the 45th president and the 115th Congress navigate these rough waters.
“A healthy and productive ocean underpins our nation – from energy to power our society to millions of ocean and coastal jobs, and fish to feed our people and freshwater for drinking and farming to the very oxygen we breathe. It is the science community that seeks to understand the sea and to glean the secrets of this changing system. This understanding leads to increased certainty in business models, improvements in maritime domain awareness, advancements in evacuation plans, and the ability to feed our growing population. It all is built upon the gold-standard of peer review and science integrity, and that is what we call on our elected officials to support,” said Rear Admiral Jon White (USN, ret.), President and CEO of Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL).
The U.S. has led the world in research and technology since World War II because our nation adopted an academic, university- and laboratory-based research enterprise that partners with the federal government. Our remarkably high return on investment for federally-supported research is due to the fact that the best science − and its application to the nation’s problems − rise to the top in our competitive, peer-review system. The independence of academic researchers and their institutions has engendered the public’s trust and also supports the business community as it transitions federally-sponsored basic research into products and services that bolster the national economy.
“Advancing science, technology, and education links to innovation, drives economic prosperity, expands workforces, and improves American lives. Across the country, citizens are depending upon President-elect Donald Trump to lead on these issues. Appointing a respected scientist as the next science advisor early in the transition process will allow for cross-discipline, -sector, and -agency planning,” posed Dr. Jacqueline E. Dixon, COL Board Chair. Science doesn’t exist in a vacuum, White explained, “but should be considered across broader topics, including agriculture, emergency management, infrastructure, manufacturing, human health, science diplomacy, cyber-security, transportation, energy, even the basic well-being of people. Ocean science and technology play a role in every one (and more) of these issues.”
“The success of our national science enterprise is necessary to facilitate life-changing discovery, encourage cutting-edge innovation, and maintain and grow our global competitiveness. COL (and the broader ocean science and technology community it represents) stands ready to be a resource for the new administration and Congress; to share information, data, and knowledge; to elucidate potential impacts of decisions; and to work together in a bipartisan manner to leverage science and technology to ensure our nation’s safety and security,” White stated.