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President Trump on Saturday said he would nominate U.S. Representative James Bridenstine to become administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is an important agency for academic science, both for the research it sponsors and for the data and information collected by NASA missions, about space as well as the Earth.

The nomination is already setting off controversy because it breaks with a tradition (in Democratic and Republican administrations) of nominating NASA administrators who have extensive experience in the agency, advanced degrees in science or both. (See biographies of recent NASA leaders here, here, here and here.) Bridenstine's status as a politician and not a scientist is already attracting bipartisan criticism.

Others are noting that Bridenstine has given speeches asserting that climate change is not real, and once demanded that President Obama apologize for supporting research on climate change.