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Controversial radio star to lead farm research

President Donald Trump plans to nominate right-wing radio host Sam Clovis to be the next chief scientist of the Department of Agriculture, an appointment that critics have called illegal.

Clovis’s appointment as under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics is controversial because the position has always been filled by an experienced scientist. He is a political advisor in the White House and was the co-chairman of Trump’s election campaign, but doesn’t have a background in agricultural research. The government announced its intent to nominate him on 19 July.

Clovis is a former economics professor at Morningside College in Iowa, a liberal arts school, and has hosted a right-wing talk show on a local radio station. He has a doctorate in public administration, and spent some time in consulting and at a think tank before moving into academia.

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