Exploring Human Potential

The Science Community Has Had Enough of Trump and Is Finding Their Voice.

Posted on | September 18, 2020 | 1 Comment

Mike Magee

In its 175-year history, Scientific American has never endorsed a US presidential candidate – until now. This week they endorsed Joe Biden for president. One week earlier, H. Holden Thorp, the spicy new editor of Science, penned an editorial titled “Trump Lied About Science.”

Scientists have historically looked the other way and allowed the dust to settle. That’s what they did when George W. Bush flirted with creationism and put forward his cockeyed stem cell policy.  And they didn’t blink twice as Ronald Reagan super-charged  science infrastructure  while refusing to utter the words HIV/AIDS.

What especially had the Science editor worked up in an interview this week in Wired magazine, was Trump’s “constant drumbeat that scientists and science are somehow out to get the administration.” Add to this that the president is “willing to go into the Rose Garden or the briefing room and just say things that are blatantly untrue.”

But really what got Thorp’s goat was Trump’s March, 2020 remark to Pharma execs to “Do me a favor. Speed up a vaccine.”  That kind of interference can bend the risk/benefit curve, and have a long-lasting ill effect on the public’s trust of science in general.

“I believe we’ve been overly deferential to the idea that we should stay out of it. Look what that’s gotten us. It’s gotten climate denial. It’s gotten us creationism. It’s gotten us prohibited from doing stem cell research.”, said Thorp.

Scientific American, in its historic endorsement, was no more diplomatic. They wrote, “The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September.”

Don’t expect any dampening of the controversy in the next sixty days. This week’s mental collapse of political hatchet man, Michael Caputo, and this headline in the New York Times – “C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections:  A controversial guideline saying people without Covid-19 symptoms didn’t need to get tested for the virus came from H.H.S. officials and skipped the C.D.C.’s scientific review process.” – clearly suggests otherwise.


One Response to “The Science Community Has Had Enough of Trump and Is Finding Their Voice.”

  1. Lawrence R Williams, Esq.
    September 18th, 2020 @ 11:42 am

    I applaud Scientific American for stepping up to the greatest threat to our Nation in the last 244 years, Donald Trump. As a simple old lawyer I offer an observation and a caution.

    The observation is that for at least the last 4 years the medical and scientific communities and virtually every other fact based area of study and research amongst the fields of human endeavor, have been serving up legions of information and factual data clearly showing the fallacy of most of the policies of the Trump administration and their constant river of lies.

    And the caution? “Beliefs are more powerful than facts” and thus all of the facts in every field of endeavor are useless when presented to people like Trump supporters who choose not to believe because they know that they have been imbued with superior knowledge from their god, political leader or even an outrageous television personality. So don’t be surprised if the Trump cult simply continue to ignore the knowledge that science and medicine offer. You are not going to get them to wear a mask until their mother, father, spouse, son, daughter, etc. is lying in a hospital bed connected to a ventilator and fighting for their life. And then that individual might take up a mask. Or even then they might not.

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