Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Forest burns in the Carr Fire on July 30, 2018 west of Redding, California. Credit: Terray Sylvester/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has nominated extreme weather expert, Kelvin K. Droegemeier of the University of Oklahoma, as head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, according to a White House official.

Why this matters: The Trump administration faces a host of complex scientific challenges, from charting a path forward for federal research into quantum computing, AI and space exploration to negotiating a nuclear agreement with North Korea. Trump took longer to name a science adviser than any other president since Eisenhower.

Between the lines: If confirmed by the Senate, Droegemeier would be a prominent voice of mainstream science — including climate change — in the White House. President Trump has long expressed doubt about the scientific evidence proving that human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, are causing the planet to warm, thereby worsening extreme events such as heat waves and heavy precipitation events.

Details: Droegemeier currently serves as the vice president for research and Regent's Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. He has a particular expertise in next-generation radar technology to predict severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Droegemeier co-founded and directed the National Science Foundation's Science and Technology Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, and served two six-year terms on the National Science Board, under Presidents George W. Bush and Obama. Since 2017, he has served as secretary of science and technology, appointed by Oklahoma's Republican Governor, Mary Fallin.

What they're saying: Top scientists reacted to the news with enthusiastic support for his nomination.

Rush Holt, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and a former Democratic Congressman, praised the pick.

"Science and technology are embedded in almost every issue that the president deals with, and since 2016, we've urged the nomination of a respected scientist or engineer... Kelvin Droegemeier is such a scientist; his work cuts across many disciplines from meteorology to cybersecurity and he has demonstrated many years of public service at the interface of science and policy."

  • Holt said he is someone who would "work in bipartisan fashion."

Marcia McNutt, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, also expressed satisfaction with Droegemeier as the White House's choice.

"I am pleased that the White House has moved to fill the position of Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. This is a key step towards giving science a seat at the table so decisions that shape our country are informed by the best available evidence," she said.

"In particular, our nation is facing mounting costs from weather-related disasters, including more severe hurricanes, floods, droughts, and forest fires.  Having a distinguished atmospheric scientist advising the President is timely and a great choice."
— Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences

Thought bubble: Given that Trump did not nominate anyone for so long, it's unclear how much influence Droegemeier will have in the West Wing. Traditionally, the OSTP leader oversees numerous interagency processes, but some science advisers, such as John Holdren under President Obama, have been involved in a wide-range of decisions.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.