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Trump has shown little respect for U.S. science. So why are some parts thriving?


Trump has shown little respect for U.S. science. So why are some parts thriving? By Jeffrey MervisOct. 14, 2020 , 1:30 PMDisastrous. Damaging. Catastrophic. Those are just some of the more polite terms that many U.S. scientists use to describe the policies of President Donald Trump. His handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his repeated public dismissals of scientific expertise, and his disdain for evidence have prompted many researchers to label him the most antiscience president in living memory.

Last month, that sense of betrayal led two of the nation’s preeminent scientific bodies, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, to issue an uncharacteristically harsh rebuke. Although the 24 September statement did not name Trump, it was clearly aimed at the president.

“Policymaking must be informed by the best available evidence without it being distorted, concealed, or otherwise deliberately miscommunicated,” the leaders of the two academies wrote. “We find reports and incidents of the politicization of science, particularly the overriding of evidence and advice from public health officials and derision of government scientists, to be alarming.”

Although many U.S. scientists share those sentiments, other aspects of the administration’s overall record elicit a more positive response. Ask researchers how federal funding for their fields has fared since Trump took office in January 2017, and they might acknowledge sustained support and even mention new opportunities in some areas. Inquire about what they think of the appointees leading the federal agencies that fund their work, and they will offer some good—even glowing—reviews. Those seemingly contradictory responses reflect the complexity of an $80-billion-a-year system that remains the envy of the world. Any president trying to alter that behemoth has three levers to press—policies, budget requests, and leadership appointments. Please, to access the full article visit Science AAAS

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