Leading scientific publications issue unprecedented editorials
October 16, 2020 2:28 AM   Subscribe

Breaking with long apolitical traditions, The Lancet, Science, Scientific American, New England Journal of Medicine and Nature have published editorials critical of the Trump administration.
posted by adept256 (19 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
Trump wouldn't have such a hate hardon for our community, if only we had $400 million in quick cash.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:05 AM on October 16


As an European, I remember when I saw the United States of America as a beacon for science, reason and enlightenment. I even went to University there.

How the mighty have fallen.

*shakes head
posted by fordiebianco at 5:49 AM on October 16 [15 favorites]


Meanwhile, it's only kind of true that the Taliban endorses Trump.

But it's 100% true that the KKK endorses Trump, of course.
posted by subdee at 7:31 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]


At this point I wonder which publications, of any kind, still endorse Trump?
posted by swift at 8:10 AM on October 16


At this point I wonder which publications, of any kind, still endorse Trump?

Wikipedia has you covered.

It amounts to: Overall the major shift seems to be that several papers that endorsed neither candidate in 2016 have shifted to endorsing Biden.
posted by jedicus at 8:50 AM on October 16 [9 favorites]


Also issuing their first-ever presidential endorsement: Surfer magazine:
It becomes a lot harder to ignore the impacts of politics on our surfing lives when we’re canceling surf trips due to pandemics, when our local lineups are choked with wildfire smoke or contaminated by industrial pollution, or when our homes are getting flattened by increasingly-powerful hurricanes. Because politics are already in surfing—they affect our surfing lives whether we want them there or not—so we may as well learn what we can about the issues and participate in the process in a way that aligns with our interests as surfers.
posted by box at 9:29 AM on October 16 [30 favorites]


I felt like the Taliban endorsement was pure reverse psychology, but now I suppose it wasn't really supposed to be an endorsement so much as chatter
posted by Countess Elena at 9:45 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


I thought “unprecedented” would be getting a workout this year but according to google trends it peaked in March and had trailed off since. I guess nothing surprises us anymore.
posted by sjswitzer at 11:44 AM on October 16


Yep. Lack of precedent is the new precedent. At this point, normalcy itself would be newsworthy.
posted by biogeo at 2:43 PM on October 16 [8 favorites]


I was actually a little confused because I typed "Lancet Trump" on Google yesterday and it seems to show that Lancet has been criticizing Trump for a long time, ever since this spring due to COVID. I was surprised to see how this disproves the folk notion (that scientists themselves hold) that science is neutral. Lancet was never politically neutral. Which is fine in my book, that is, it just proves in my mind a huge misconception about the sociology of science regarding "neutrality'.
posted by polymodus at 3:23 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


Science is indeed neutral. So is e.g. math and lots of other fields when construed abstractly.

But any organized group of humans cannot be fully apolitical or completely ignore the polity.
posted by SaltySalticid at 3:27 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


It's certainly nowhere near the same calibre, but '2600: The Hacker Quarterly' has given a political endorsement for the first time, too.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 3:54 PM on October 16 [4 favorites]


on the flipside of unprecedented endorsements the NYC police union endorsed a presidential candidate (45, naturally) for the first time... they're probably better armed than the scientists
posted by kokaku at 6:03 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Did somebody say unpresidented?
posted by evilDoug at 6:53 PM on October 16


Science is indeed neutral. So is e.g. math and lots of other fields when construed abstractly.

The idea the pure science is free of politics is the purest political lie that members of society rationalize to themselves. If you want to learn about the non neutrality of science, there are many texts from sociology and political philosophy that will explain why that is the case. As someone privileged to receive advanced training in the hard sciences, I've seen this ignorant attitude a lot.
posted by polymodus at 12:34 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


It's certainly nowhere near the same calibre, but '2600: The Hacker Quarterly' has given a political endorsement for the first time, too.

That depends on which side of the firewall you are on.
posted by ryoshu at 12:47 AM on October 17


The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, is anything but apolitical. He is well known for it, and often comes in for quite a lot of criticism for it. It does affect the credibility of The Lancet, but then it also creates a lot of publicity.

NEJM on the other hand, is usually scrupulously neutral, so it’s interesting to see this from them. They did write an editorial in support of gun control (as part of the “this is my lane” campaign), but I can’t think of another time they have endorsed a specific party like this.
posted by tinkletown at 6:41 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


The idea the pure science is free of politics is the purest political lie that members of society rationalize to themselves. [sic]

It's important to differentiate "Science" from the "practice of Science." Certainly "any organized group of humans cannot be fully apolitical." Its debatable if God plays dice, but I think we can at least presume (s)he doesn't concern he(r)self with the team sports of mere mortals, and be assured an entirely indifferent awesome Universe certainly doesn't. Though even that theory has its detractors.
posted by rubatan at 6:22 PM on October 17


Science being political is one thing, but multiple major scientific journals taking a public stance against a mainstream American presidential candidate is another entirely.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:14 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


« Older Christmas Cake   |   North or south, thunder and drums... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.