Scientific American endorses Biden and risks losing his remaining readership
One of the biggest mistakes scientists have made in recent years is to become overtly political. American scientist went further and endorsed Joe Biden as president.
In his editorial, SciAm admits that it has never supported a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. There is a good reason for this. Science is not a partisan endeavor. But in recent years it has become more and more of one, with scientists (and science writers in particular) openly rooting for one side of the political spectrum.
For example, a group called 314 Share has the task of electing scientists into the public service – provided they are Democrats. The March for Science, which began in 2017, was and continues to be a rudderless cabal of scientists and aspiring scientists united by meaningless progressive platitudes. The academic world as a whole has become increasingly imbalanced in terms of political diversity, and some even celebrate this fact.
At least SciAm’s editorial is thoughtful and substantial. He rightly criticizes President Trump for exercising poor and inconsistent leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it should have ended there. By endorsing Joe Biden, SciAm further politicizes the scientific community and in doing so, the once preeminent magazine risks losing its remaining readership.
The Many Harms of Scientific American
And that’s assuming SciAm still has readers. We wrote previously about the many harms of American scientist. In December 2019, I wrote:
SciAm published one article which made one outrageous statement after another. For example, the authors wrote that climate change turned vegetables into sugary snacks; GMOs and glyphosate are responsible for a multitude of chronic diseases, from diabetes to autism; and the real path to health is to tinker with our gut microbiome. Like I wrote at the time, “I had never before seen an article that so blatantly distorted and distorted a whole series of sciences – from nutrition and agriculture to biotechnology and microbiology.”
How something so blatant could get through their editorial process is confusing. That this has happened over and over again is a scientific abomination. SciAm went on to publish an anti-5G conspiracy article and another denouncing modern medical science.
Visiting the SciAm website is a bit like a box of chocolates or playing Russian roulette; you never really know what you’re going to get. Right now, one of the main stories is about how a molecule called phosphine suggests that there might be life on Venus, despite the fact that anyone with a basic knowledge of astronomy knows that Venus is a completely inhospitable hell. There is nothing there.
Yet instead of demystifying the story, SciAm promoted it. Their caption read: “Unexpected atmospheric detection of phosphine, a smelly gas produced by microbes on Earth, could spark revolution in astrobiology.” No, not exactly. Because SciAm is no longer in the business of practicing science journalism, that work fell (as it often does) to the excellent astrophysicist and writer Dr. Ethan Siegel, who wrote, “[B]being that [alien life] is the answer, it’s like buying a single lottery ticket and expecting to hit the jackpot. “
There was a time when we expected a lot more from SciAm. But that time is long gone. Now we get pseudoscience and politics. Too bad.