Friday, April 21, 2017

Of Course The March For Science Is Partisan

There will a March for Science tomorrow in Washington.  I will be attending a similar event in Boston tomorrow with my daughter and her husband who are biologists and their three year old daughter who is curious about how things work in nature.  Like a budding scientist she tests out her ideas by seeing if they hold up through experience.  That, of course, makes her much different from our president.  He has been conducting a war against the foundation of science.  That is, testing ideas against experience. When one of his ideas is shown to be false, he either criticizes the messenger or he invents a new reality to confirm the idea.  There is no difference between truth and falsehood to him.  Whatever works for him is the truth and that can easily change as circumstance change.

This article in the Washington Post is critical of the March for Science.  It accepts the fact that Trump has been not been a friend of science or rational thinking in general.  However, it argues that the March for science may be bad for science.  It will likely be viewed by Trump supporters as an attack on their savior.  That creates a risk that scientists who are supposed to be non-partisan will be viewed as political partisans.  That should not be a concern to most scientists.  Trump's war against science and rationality requires a response from all citizens who place a value on rationality and honesty.  We should do everything that we can to counter Trump's attack on reason and honesty.  We don't want our children to grow up in world where alternative facts are used to defend lies.

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