Even though Scientific American had never endorsed a US presidential candidate in the magazine’s 175-year history, its top editor has said there was little internal debate over a decision to back Democrat Joe Biden.
Editor-in-Chief Laura Helmuth said President Donald Trump’s administration was much worse for the scientific community than the magazine had feared. The magazine’s endorsement was posted online on Tuesday, a day after Trump questioned the science of climate change in relation to the California wildfires. Helmuth said the timing was coincidental and the editorial was written during the past two months.
Scientific American said that “the evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has basically damaged the United States and its people because he rejects evidence and science”.
The editorial by senior editor Josh Fischman sharply condemned Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The magazine criticised Trump for seeking cutbacks in scientific funding and hobbling the US response to climate change. Biden, the magazine said, “has a record of following the data and being guided by science”. There was no immediate reply to a request for comment from the Trump campaign. There’s been some pushback. Conservative columnist SE Cupp tweeted, “I do have mixed feelings on whether this is a good use of scientific clout.”