Trump the Conspiracy Theorist? What a Trump Win Means for Tech and Science
The votes are in and America has decided: Donald Trump is has been declared the 45th president of the United States of America. His victory marks the end of one of the most rancorous presidential campaigns in American history. With US president-elect Trump declaring what he plans to do for his first 100 days in office, America and the rest of the world wonders what his victory means for technology and science.
Trump is not particularly well known for his astuteness with technology, particularly with the industry itself. Over the years, he had been known to spar with many leading US tech companies like Apple and Amazon. July 2016 saw 145 technology sector power players publishing an open letter to the world to denounce Donald Trump as a candidate and blasting him as "a disaster for innovation".
Criticized for being vague about his intended approach to cybersecurity, Trump has also called for net neutrality, which would prevent ISPs from choking internet speeds for certain sources and types of content, or speeding up others since he considers this to be an "attack on the internet." When asked about his policy overview, Trump called for an "immediate review of all US cyber-defences and vulnerabilities, including critical infrastructure, by a Cyber Review Team of individuals from the military, law enforcement, and the private sector".
Science and the Environment
Let's start with the good: US president-elect Trump wants to focus on and expand the role of the commercial space industry. "A Trump administration would end the lack of proper co-ordination by reinstituting a national space policy council headed by the vice president," stated Bob Walker and Peter Navarro, Trump's senior policy advisors when featured by Space News.
But experts are wary of US president-elect Trump's general attitude towards science since he is targeting to implement policies that would promote short-term financial gain over long-term scientific vision. There has been uproar in the scientific community over his statement on climate change when he tweeted, "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive." He has also made what many judge to be imprudent statements connecting vaccinations to autism and expressing his strong but hardly scientific opinion on matters the spread of Ebola.
"Trump will be the first anti-science president we have ever had," stated Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society in Washington DC, to Nature. "The consequences are going to be very, very severe."