The plethora of press reports on Dr. John Holdren’s recent interviews focus (including our coverage), If not obsess over, climate issues and Holdren’s thoughts on same. While that’s fair game, it’s worth noting that Dr. Holdren’s portfolio at the Office of Science and Technology Policy is much broader than climate change, and he is not the only administration official that will weigh in on those policies.
The soup to nuts of Dr. Holdren’s recent press tour can be captured by his interviews in Nature and ScienceInsider (Science Progress has a roundup of recent Holdren interviews). The Nature interview is relatively well-organized, while the ScienceInsider interview is a much more rambling affair. In both, Dr. Holdren provides his thoughts on research dollars and the stimulus, the future of the Space Shuttle, nuclear non-proliferation, and some of the day-to-day details about his job. While it’s nice to see Dr. Holdren make himself available, I think he could use some additional message discipline to sound more like he does in the Nature interview than in the ScienceInsider interview. I’d rather he not make a habit of speculation that lends itself well to headlines (geoengineering in one case, and riding Chinese spacecraft to the International Space Station in another). The fewer clarification emails OSTP spokesperson Rick Weiss sends to the press, the better.