The American Astronomical Society is apparently led by craven suck-ups who don’t believe in standing up for science. They removed a post that was critical of the incoming Trump administration, making bogus arguments about how they are a non-political organization. I’m sorry, but you’re a science organization, and when an anti-science goon comes into office, you decide to hide under your desks rather than opposing him? What use is such an organization? If you refuse to take a stand when your members are under threat, when you actively silence criticism, you become a collaborator. And if you think bowing to the overlords of ignorance will shelter you from their ire, you haven’t thought things through.
We’ve got a Trump coming in who wants to wreck the economy and build a wall and is already complaining about those protesting college kids. You think if you scuttle to do his bidding that that will protect you from the inevitable cuts to science programs, the starving of our universities, discrimination against our students? Have you noticed that his administration is going to be managed by a raving racist and anti-semite? Does the fact that the vice president is going to be a theocrat who thinks the universe is only a few thousand years old trouble you at all?
The AAS has censored one of their own, but it’s not going to help them, because here is Sarah Tuttle’s piece. She’s saying what our scientific institutions ought to all be saying, although they probably won’t.
To those of you preaching appeasement and patience: No. We know what that looks like. We are better students of history. I am not afraid to stand up to protect the existence of those who society has pushed to the margins. I am not afraid to stand up to protect myself.
Everyone needs to rise up, and if our institutions, from the AAS to the Democratic party, are unable to share our outrage and help, then it’s time to throw down their leadership and replace them with people who are conscious of the real threat now facing this country…and facing science.