Why science is getting political

By Mary Esposito

Typically authors of science journals never express political opinions, but in 2020 the New England Journal of Medicine released an article doing just that. 

The New England Journal of Medicine has not taken sides in politics in 208 years, but in this election year, the journal is urging people to vote for Joe Biden. 

Science, specifically scientists from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has been getting a lot more attention lately, in general because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of crucial campaign positions held by Joe Biden and Donald Trump and how they will govern the country in the next four years if they are elected. 

President Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords, and has been a major influencer in leading to a global increase carbon emissions and the organized propagation of private companies expanding their work with fossil fuels and deforestation, among other things.  

Trump steps on the debate stage and touts the “Billion Tree Program” in hopes it will mask his true ideology when it comes to science, which is to ignore what most scientists say and do what’s economically right for the country in any circumstance.   

Democratic hopeful Biden is an advocate for science over fiction coupled with economically-focused environmental policy.  

Biden has clearly stated many times in the presidential debates how he will listen and work with the scientists when it comes to the ways to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and has mentioned working with scientists to decrease the effects of climate change on the planet substantially over time through ethical United States environmental policy while taking into account how large our economy is and that it is a driver for the world’s economy as a whole.  

It is for these reasons that I believe that science is getting more and more politicized, especially this close to Election Day.

Mary Esposito is a student in an honors “Campaigns, Candidates and Current Elections” course at St. Bonaventure University.

 

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