Science division of White House office no longer staffed: report

Science division of White House office no longer staffed: report

The science division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy reportedly had no staff members as of Friday.

Sources told CBS News that the last employees in the division, three holdovers from former President Obama's administration, all left the White House this week.

Under Obama, the science division was staffed with nine employees who crafted policy on STEM education, crisis response and other key issues, according to the report.

Eleanor Celeste, the former assistant director for biomedical and forensics sciences in the division, appeared to tweet about leaving the office this week.

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While the science division had no staff members as of Friday, a White House official told CBS News that the science and technology office was still functioning with 35 staffers.

Still, that compares to the more than 100 employees who worked in the office under Obama.

"All of the work that we have been doing is still being done," the official said.

The news comes a week after President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency notified dozens of scientists that their advisory positions with the agency would not be renewed.

In May, the EPA dismissed five academic members of one of its scientific reviews boards. At the time, an EPA spokesperson said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was considering replacing the five scientists with representatives of the industries the agency polices.

“The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” spokesperson J.P. Freire told The New York Times.