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Science Magazine gets pitched headlong into the political mud wrestle, along with Scientific American

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New editor H. Holden Thorp told Wired in an interview on why he has “had it” with Donald Trump:

[Wired:] But one of the arguments those Fox News people, as you say, will make is that when scientists voice political opinions, they call into question the motivations behind the research they’re touting. Do you worry that becoming so outspoken makes you even more vulnerable to that criticism? Now you’re just in the political fray, right?

[Thorp:] No. I believe we’ve been overly deferential to the idea that we should stay out of it. Look at what that’s gotten us. It’s gotten us climate denial. It’s gotten us creationism. It’s gotten us prohibited from doing stem cell research. These are all costs of scientists saying, “Oh, we’re just going to sit over here in our white coats and let people conclude what they want to.” You know, there is no apolitical science. Science is done by human beings in political environments funded by the federal government. The notion of apolitical science has never been real to begin with.

Adam Rogers, “America’s Top Science Journal Has Had It With Trump” at Wired

Okay, he said it: “there is no apolitical science.” We are not now dealing in the world of accusations but of admissions. He is admitting that opposition to “creationism,” however they define it is political. Fine. We all knew that but we did not have it in writing before. Getting things put in writing is a genuine help.

He makes clear in the rest of the interview that he hopes to find Big Media partners to spread his message: “Ben Shapiro’s getting 50 million people to look at his Facebook posts. We don’t have the kind of reach into the public consciousness on our own. So we’re going to have to partner.”

Hmmm. A bigger foghorn comes at a price. Ben Shapiro isn’t a scientist. Pretty soon many of these people won’t sound like scientists either. It’s easier to lose a reputation than gain one.

See also: Scientific American breaks with 175-year tradition, endorses Joe Biden for US President. They can break with tradition in this way if they want, of course. But then they will no longer be able to say that their science is not tainted with (drenched in?) politics. Which is why, no matter what the crisis, no one did it in the past. The outcome, no matter who wins the U.S. election, will be reduced public trust in science. Scientific American could well find itself down there with “media” generally, in terms of public trust.

4 Replies to “Science Magazine gets pitched headlong into the political mud wrestle, along with Scientific American

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    An endorsement might have made sense at some points in history when the “two” parties had distinct agendas. The last real election was 1952, when Ike promised to get us out of Korea and Truman promised to keep us in. Ike won and got us out. Since then all promises have been fake and all differences superficial.

    What does Biden promise? He promises to maintain the lockdowns and masks and riots that Trump started. Not even a pretense of difference. Meanwhile, Trump fans want to elect Trump so Trump can stop the lockdowns and masks and riots that Trump started. Why would he stop? He obviously enjoys chaos and mayhem and destruction.

    None of this crap makes any sense, unless we simply assume that it’s psychopaths doing what psychopaths do. Killing everyone because they enjoy killing.

    Science starts with distinguishing CONSTANTS from VARIABLES. These magazines can’t make the distinction, can’t apply the most elementary principles of logic.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    Climate denial? That’s funny, that’s also done be scientists. Creationists? Also funny that’s the same Dawkins trash he has always spouted. Stem cell research cancelled? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN!!!! They made a chimera mouse USING STEMS CELLS just last year. They are doing this not to get canceled be the left

  3. 3
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Embryonic Stem Cell “Research”?

    In other words, “Science ” says that the ends justify the means.
    In this case “Science” is saying that its okay to use murdered human beings to develop new products.

    Is it only okay to use human embryos to make medicine, but not for making better seat covers? Why?
    How about safer tires?
    Or, back to medicines How about a new wonder cure? Say, for baldness? What does Science say?

    Or does Science specify what human beings can be used?
    If embryos are okay, how about a 30 week old unborn?
    Or a 3 year old?
    Or a Jew, say for critical Medical/Military research? Why not? Plenty of precedent for that question.
    Or a top Peer Reviewed Scientist?
    Lemme guess what Science says about that last one. The answer is this: No.

    But hey, I’m just a Creationist.
    What answers does Science provide?

  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    3 Tammie Lee Haynes

    Is it only okay to use human embryos to make medicine

    No, the proper materialist terminolgy is “parasite’ (not human embryo).

    how about a 30 week old unborn?

    That’s a “veery big parasite”.

    We have a lot to learn
    from the “evolved people”.

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