Scientific American, a popular and prestigious science magazine many famous scientists have contributed articles to in the magazine’s past 175 years in business, has just endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in its history.
Earlier this week, the editorial board wrote they are “compelled” to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the upcoming 2020 election and they urge readers to make it a priority to vote President Trump out fo office.
“The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science,” the magazine’s editors write. “Joe Biden, in contrast, comes prepared with plans to control COVID-19, improve health care, reduce carbon emissions, and restore the role of legitimate science in policymaking. He solicits expertise and has turned that knowledge into solid policy proposals.”
According to Truthout, Scientific American covers groundbreaking research and popular science and rarely wades into partisan politics, but the editorial board does not mince words in their editorial.
“This year, we need to tell what we know about the consequences the Trump administration has had for science, health, the environment, for using evidence, for really understanding and accepting reality, and show that this time the choice is just so important for science,” says Laura Helmuth, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
The editor’s of Scientific American are aware they may lose readers by taking this stance and they tried to be “as inclusive as possible,” avoiding words like Democrat or Republican in their endorsement.
“We hope that people who’ve historically been Republicans or who may be voting for Republicans in other races this year will feel included in this endorsement. … We hope that anybody who’s concerned about using science and using the best evidence will feel comfortable voting for Joe Biden this time,” says Helmuth.
The Conversation says it best writing: “In the past, it has been suggested scientists who comment beyond their specific, narrow sphere of reach by delving into politics are tainting their credibility – perhaps even behaving unethically. But as we now stare down the barrel of an ongoing global pandemic (and relentless climate change continuing in the background), to remain quiet on the politics is not just unethical, but actively dangerous.”