As Scientists Seek to Understand Their Place in Trumplandia, APS Doesn’t Help

As Scientists Seek to Understand Their Place in Trumplandia, APS Doesn’t Help
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This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup

As people try to figure out how to survive autocracy and understand the supposedly overlooked rural white America, or more accurately and importantly, shine a light on the fact that rural white America is the real bubble (so many perfect lines there, not least of which is that the author’s “high school had more convicted sexual predator teachers than minority teachers”), scientists now have a tough question to answer. What becomes of their quest for facts in a nation led by a man with little use for them

With an anti-science president lined up for office, scientists are struggling to come to grips with this new reality; for example, by calling on us to hold conservatives responsible for the impacts of their policies. But as the threat of major budget cuts loom large, academia’s urge to survive by reconciling their pre-Trump resistance in this new post-truth Administration is strong.

In an attempt to be gracious and treat Trump like they might any regular president-elect, the American Physical Society (APS) issued a short press release congratulating him and stated hopes that increased funding for science would be part of how he makes America great again. It did not stay up for long.

As detailed in Retraction Watch, scientists and APS members were outraged at the normalization of Trump’s campaign of bullying. (For those who may think his noxious rhetoric was all talk, take a look at the sickening stream of hate cataloged from just Day 1 in Trump’s America, or the abuse hurled throughout the campaign at WaPo fact-checker Michelle Ye Hee Lee.)

Theoretical astrophysicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein pointed out (among many other well-founded criticisms) that the APS statement’s dog whistle reference to Asians added insult to injury, and that the whole idea behind the statement was “literally how German sci sold out Jewish sci.” 

Meanwhile, embracing the appeasement approach to Trump was Roger Pielke Jr. and Jack Stilgoe, who argue that scientists should try and find ways to work with the man who thinks their work is just a Chinese hoax. They even invoke one JFK, suggesting that “scientists should not just be asking what Trump will do for them. They should face up to the difficult question of what they should be doing for Trump.” 

Odds are Pielke will be just as convincing with this nauseatingly ass-kissing argument as he was with his single infamously erroneous post at FiveThirtyEight. 

Image credit: Science by Erica Minton via Flickr CC 2.0

As Scientists Seek to Understand Their Place in Trumplandia, APS Doesn’t Help

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