Science and partisanship

I was reading the morning feed from an alumni list server for individuals that attended one of the scifoo camps sponsored by Google, Nature and O’Reilly publishing. There was a pretty intense discussion of how politically partisan the posts had become in the context of Scientific American’s recent unprecedented endorsement of Biden. The entire discussion worries me. When scientists publicly take sides, they invite a backlash. Which has already happened I think. Science then becomes politicized in much the same way mask-wearing has and it doesn’t serve the public well.

I am well aware that scientific results have political implications. And that’s fine. But, when one side becomes anti-science (as in against the scientific method/process) then if they hold power, further accumulation of scientific knowledge becomes at risk (e.g. Galileo). And this puts the nation at further risk: anti-science nations don’t compete well in the geopolitics of the 21st century.

Science is not a special interest. But it risks being perceived as one.