Thursday, August 18, 2016

SciAm Scolds Current GOP Presidential Candidate's "Lack of Respect for Science"

here, strong words warning us about antiscience and its threat to democracy:
001. the Editors at Scientific American write in "Donald Trump’s Lack of Respect for Science Is Alarming" [dated 2016-09-01]:

"four years ago in these pages, writer Shawn Otto warned our readers of the danger of a growing antiscience current in American politics. 'By turning public opinion away from the antiauthoritarian principles of the nation's founders,' Otto wrote, 'the new science denialism is creating an existential crisis like few the country has faced before' [...]";

well that interesting because Otto's book "The War on Science" is my current summer reading. 

"Americans have long prided themselves on their ability to see the world for what it is, as opposed to what someone says it is or what most people happen to believe [...] a respect for evidence is not just a part of the national character. It goes to the heart of the country's particular brand of democratic government [...e.g] the Declaration of Independence [...and its] primacy of reason based on evidence [...]";

hear, hear.

"for more than 170 years we have documented, for better and for worse, the rise of science and technology and their impact on the nation and the world. We have strived to assert in our reporting, writing and editing the principle that decision making in the sphere of public policy should accept the conclusions that evidence, gathered in the spirit and with the methods of science, tells us to be true [...] Scientific American is not in the business of endorsing political candidates. But we do take a stand for science [...] and the Enlightenment values that gave rise to it [...] one of the two major party candidates for the highest office in the land has repeatedly and resoundingly demonstrated a disregard, if not outright contempt, for science. Donald Trump also has shown an authoritarian tendency to base policy arguments on questionable assertions of fact and a cult of personality [...] the current presidential race, however, is something special. It takes antiscience to previously unexplored terrain. When the major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago, we can only hope that there is nowhere to go but up [...] we encourage the nation's political leaders to demonstrate a respect for scientific truths in word and deed. And we urge the people who vote to hold them to that standard [...]";

hear, hear, hear.
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