‘Science is political’: Scientific American has endorsed Joe Biden over Trump for president. Australia should take note

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In an unprecedented step, prestigious science publication Scientific American has launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump and endorsed his opponent, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, in the upcoming US election. It’s the first presidential endorsement in the magazine’s 175-year history.

To this, we say: about bloody time! As we’ve noted before:

Science is political. The science we do is inherently shaped by the funding landscape of government and the problems and issues of society. This means that to have any influence on how science is organised and funded in Australia (or the US or any other country), we as scientists and science communicators must act in ways that matter in the arena of politics.

It’s now more critical than ever, as the editors at Scientific American clearly lay out, that the people who are actually knowledgeable about the world’s crises speak out and represent that knowledge (or “collective wisdom”) in public, out loud and with their names attached.

Under Trump, science isn’t just ignored. It is lampooned and directly attacked, especially on issues such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. This actively threatens the lives (and livelihoods) of not just millions of …

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