Sometimes you just have to take a stand. Enough is enough. Throughout its long history, the magazine Scientific American has kept to science and left politics to the politicians. No more. For the upcoming presidential election, for the first time in its history, it has endorsed a candidate. Needless to say, that candidate is Joe Biden. Trump’s assault on truth has proven just too offensive, and dangerous, for a publication that has devoted 175 years to presenting knowledge.
Trump’s lies, his remarkable ignorance, and his contempt for science, all demand that institutions committed to fact call him out. Scientific American has answered the call.
The magazine’s endorsement includes the following: “The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. … He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges.”
Editor-in-chief Laura Helmuth said the decision to break the magazine’s tradition was both unanimous and quick. She insisted they were not endorsing a party and avoided using the words “Republican” or “Democrat,” saying, “We hope that anybody who’s concerned about using science and using the best evidence will feel comfortable voting for Joe Biden this time.”
It’s unfortunate that a magazine devoted to science should have to get involved in politics. We should be able to assume that our political leaders accept reality, but that is obviously not the case. Some politicians prefer their own reality and none more egregiously so than Donald Trump. That makes it of the greatest importance that institutions dealing with the pursuit of truth, such as Scientific American, stand up and be counted.