What does the scientific establishment, as represented by the journal Nature, think of Trump? I think you can guess.
Science advocates worry that Trump’s broader anti-immigration stance could pose a threat to US research dominance. Roughly 5% of all students in the United States hail from other countries — including more than 380,000 people studying science, engineering, technology or mathematics. “We’ve always been a nation which has welcomed scientific brainpower from other countries,” says Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, a science-advocacy group in Alexandria, Virginia. “We don’t want that to turn around now.”
Scientific issues have scarcely been mentioned on the campaign trail so far. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front runner, has pledged to boost support for research into Alzheimer’s disease, and has pushed back against Trump’s anti-immigration and anti-Muslim stance. When she was a senator, Clinton backed health and research-related bills, and as first lady to former president Bill Clinton, she advocated for research on women’s health.
Trump is a wealthy real-estate mogul with no political legacy to mine for clues as to his scientific opinions. In the course of the campaign, he has linked autism to childhood vaccines, and dismissed climate change. (It’s called weather,he said.) In October, conservative radio host Michael Savage suggested on air that if elected, Trump should appoint him as head of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).Well, you know you’d get common sense if that were the case, that I can tell you,Trump replied, during the light-hearted conversation.Because I hear so much about the NIH, and it’s terrible.
It’s terrible? Trump keeps shrinking his constituency. He’s alienated women, minorities, and now educated people. All he’s got left are ignorant, angry white guys. How is he going to win the election?
Also, the lack of discussion of scientific issues is a problem. Science and engineering are important drivers of technological advancement, so even if all you care about is the economy those should be significant topics of conversation; if nothing else, climate change ought to be a major concern. Where is our Science Debate? We haven’t had a candidate for high office this stupid since
Ronald Reagan Dan Quayle George W Sarah Palin — aww, heck, since any Republican. It ought to be great blood sport.