Science and politics – Nature editorial and comments debate AAAS appointment of Rush Holt as partisan politics…? #science

This week’s Nature editorials include a column by Daniel Sarewitz titled ‘Science should keep out of partisan politics.‘ The article examines the possible political nature of the recent appointment of retired congressman Rush Holt as the head of the AAAS. It is definitely worth a read, and the comments are certainly worth your time!

That said, I personally have to agree with most of the commenters. Many support the AAAS appointment of Rush Holt, not as political, but as a leader who is an accomplished scientist and politician. Holt a terrific choice as leader of AAAS – he has knowledge and experience in both science and in Washington, DC politics.

I understand Sarewitz’ points, but I think they are wrongly applied to Holt’s appointment and I think it is far too late for this argument. Why should science keep out of partisan politics, when partisan politics have not kept out of science. Republicans and Democrats can all be blamed for recent decreases in science funding. However, the anti-science platforms, statements, and politics of many Republicans have done damage to science. Beyond funding cuts, they have created an atmosphere where political vitriol and lies often trump scientific evidence.

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