Posted on January 20, 2023

A Top U.S. Science Oversight Board Is About to Get Much More Diverse

Jeffrey Mervis, Science, January 17, 2023

The demographic makeup of the presidentially appointed body that oversees the National Science Foundation (NSF) skewed toward white men under former President Donald Trump. But last week, President Joe Biden took a big step toward restoring its previous diversity.

On 13 January, Biden announced the pending appointment of seven women and one man for the eight vacancies on the National Science Board (NSB). The new class, which includes five scientists of color, will give the 24-member board a roster that features 10 women, three Black scientists, and three Latino scientists. The current 16-member roster only included three women, no Black scientists, and one Latino scientist.

“The president’s appointments will make this the most diverse National Science Board in history,” says Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and assistant to the president for science and technology.

NSB plays a unique role among federal agencies by both setting policy for the $10 billion NSF and weighing in on important issues affecting the entire research enterprise. {snip}