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An advocate for using IQ tests to select who is allowed to legally immigrate to the United States has been given a high-ranking position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

ScienceInsider has learned that Jason Richwine, an independent public policy analyst, has been appointed as deputy undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology and could start work as soon as today. It’s a new position reporting to the NIST director, Walter Copan, who also holds the title of undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology.

Richwine did not return several messages from ScienceInsider. A NIST spokesperson referred inquiries to the Department of Commerce, of which NIST is one component. The department has not responded to questions about Richwine’s status or the scope of his duties.

This year, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has installed several people at technical agencies under his jurisdiction who have raised the hackles of researchers. In the summer Ross appointed three people to new, high-level policy positions at the Census Bureau, the nation’s premier statistical agency, without the prior knowledge of Census... see more