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Scientific American's Scientifically Indefensible Biden Endorsement

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on September 21, 2020 20:10

3 users

An editorial that begins and ends with lies is, by definition, not credible and unworthy of a purportedly "scientific" journal ...

Breaking with 175 years of nonpartisan objectivity, German-owned Scientific American endorsed Joe Biden for President in its October 2020 issue. The endorsement carried an emotional headline: "From Fear to Hope."

It began: "The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science..."

That statement is demonstrably false.

Data shows that President Trump has an official science adviser, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Acting Director of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Droegemeier previously served as Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology and Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma. As Wikipedia noted: "Reaction to the nomination from the scientific community was generally positive." The responsible Senate committee confirmed Dr. Drogemeier unanimously.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force works with numerous doctors and scientists, including Dr. Drogemeier, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Jerome Adams, Dr. Peter Marks, Dr. Robert Redfield, Dr. Steven Hahn, Dr. Brent Giroir and Dr. Ben Carson. It coordinates research with the NIH, CDC, Public Health Service, HHS, VA and other government agencies.

Through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration also works with research scientists at Johnson & Johnson, Astra-Zeneca-University of Oxford, Pfizer, Moderna, Merck, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline and other private sector pharmaceutical companies.

Clearly, thousands of scientists are working under the Trump administration on coronavirus and other scientific problems. This means the lede of Scientific American's endorsement contains an outright lie. That's a statement of fact, not opinion.

The editorial goes downhill from there. After paragraphs of tendentious political charges, puerile name-calling and partisan political invective ignoring countervailing evidence, Scientific American's editorial concludes with a whopper: "Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from casting ballots safely in November, either by mail or in person, it is crucial that we surmount them and vote. It's time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science."

Of course, President Trump did not prevent anyone from casting a ballot. Indeed, Vice President Biden voted in person in September's Delaware primary ... and VP Biden publicly flip-flopped on China travel bans under political pressure. An editorial that begins and ends with lies is, by definition, not credible and unworthy of a purportedly "scientific" journal.

Curiously, Scientific American's current editor, Dr. Laura Helmuth, holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience. Yet her editorial failed to discuss concerns with the mental fitness of the Democratic nominee raised in Trump campaign ads. Who would want a demented President with nuclear codes? Not a scientist.

I emailed Scientific American's Rachel Scheer to ask Dr. Helmuth to explain her scientific methodology for the Biden endorsement. She didn't reply.

Yet on April 17, Dr. Helmuth had publicly declared: "...we try to be much more explicit about where we got our information."

Conclusion: Scientific American's published Biden endorsement is scientifically indefensible.

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on September 21, 2020 20:10

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