Scientists battle Trump agenda on multiple fronts

scientists against trump

scientists against trumpThe first ten days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been just as extreme as many had feared including those of us in the scientific community, but the early reactions of scientists to fight Trump’s agenda have been encouraging.

We’ve collectively been sparked to “get out of the lab” and do something about it.

There are many things one can do as a scientist to oppose Trump’s extremism. I wrote a post on December 2 about how scientists can try to deal with the new Trump reality. That post rings true today almost 2 months later.

Perhaps inspired in part by the massively successful Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration (and the many satellite protests across America and the world) that dwarfed the inauguration turnout much to his chagrin, a movement of scientists was born to hold the Scientists’ March on Washington. You can read more here and show your interest in participating (in DC or locally) here on their Facebook book. I’m hoping to participate either in DC or locally here in Sacramento at the state capitol.

Scientists including many Nobel laureates have signed a petition (you can sign it here) in the thousands against Trump’s toxic immigration ban. I sent in an email to sign it last night. It is encouraging to see federal judges ruling against Trump on at least aspects of this executive order.

UC Berkeley geneticist Michael Eisen has taken things a big step further than most by announcing he is running for the US Senate. You can follow him in his campaign incarnation here on Twitter. It appears other scientists are going to run for office as well.

Overall, scientists are getting out of the box of the lab and becoming more politically active in many ways in response to Trump. I see us scientists, whose lives revolve around data and facts, as having a key role in the larger movement countering the “alternative facts” fake reality pushed by the Trump administration.

Let’s fight the good fight!

11 Comments


  1. While it is noble and necessary to resist obscurantism in science and to withstand boldface lies and Trumpian-type misinformation, it is not noble for badly needed and often underfunded scientists to take themselves out of noble and badly needed field of endeavor like science to switch over to ignoble and corruption ridden fields like national politics where very different skills and knowledge are needed. I think that is a major mistake.

    Scientists can have influence and impact and not have to give up their life’ work in order to accomplish that. I urge all those to contain their fervor and outrage and reconsider that career change.


    • I had bone,fat,blood,stem cell done by a Dr from promo,(salt lake) for 5 G s to no avail.
      Had 2 friends follow up and not so good results!
      However we do need to keep trying,so please don’t to too bitter against Donny,he is also trying boys !
      All the best Al?❤️


    • @Manny,
      Scientists like Michael Eisen can do both their science and have impact on society and policy. If he were to be elected a US Senator then that of course is a different matter and would be far more challenging. But everyday scientists can devote bits of time here or there to have positive impact on the world outside the lab.
      Paul


  2. Trying to understand how the recent immigration executive order could be linked to scientists outrage and furthemore going into politics, sacrificing the very matter of their life.
    What else has had happened, hurting your daily research, beside general lost of Democrats, that makes you and other liberals cry so loudly against Trump?
    Being immigrant twice I may judge as 3rd party watchdog that you, people, going to loose this country, my country, to harsh realities of changing world, to incomprehensible threats, which you calling yourself liberals are not willing to acknowledge.
    Also an example of crowded women’s March wasn’t the brightest in US history, which took in many cases ugly and rude form of expression in sharp contrast to pro-life March.


  3. Exactly how much does a temporary ban on visas from a few Islamist jihadist conflict zones and one country with an Islamist jihadist government in charge of it affect scientific research in the US?


  4. Everybody needs to stop with the vapors. Wait and see what the man does before condemning him based on what you *think* he is going to do with science funding.

    Consider that politics and business usually involve very different cognitive frameworks than science, and maybe you simply don’t understand how he approaches problems.

    Or continue to rabble-rouse and end up needlessly making an enemy of the govt.

    Your choice.


    • @Jason,
      Trump’s appointments, his alternative facts, and his executive orders are examples of what he does already that make it pretty clear he’s heading in the wrong direction and his approach is contrary to scientific culture of focusing on reality and data, inclusivity and diversity, and justice. Paul


  5. How should we interpret this from Trump? “I hear so much about the NIH, and it’s terrible” It would be consistent with his business philosophy to downsize the NIH because it’s not making an immediate profit.

    We don’t study climate change, but since it’s a fact and we also deal in facts, I don’t think we are in a strong position.

    I think it’s great that Michael Eisen wants to affect politics- no one is going to look out for science if we don’t.

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