Scientists say: "Donald Trump is Not Who We Are"

As members of the scientific community, we invite our colleagues to stand together in making it clear that Donald Trump's views on many pressing topics are at odds with scientific reality and represent a dangerous rejection of scientific thinking.

There should be no place for this kind of rhetoric - or this kind of attitude toward expertise itself - in the halls of government.

As a community, we affirm the values that make us who we are: curiosity, skepticism, integrity, and simple adherence to the facts.

Join us in saying: Donald Trump is not who we are.
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Signed by*:

Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist from Penn State University;

Eugenie Scott, a physical anthropologist and former executive director of the National Center for Science Education;

Harriet Hall, an expert in science-based medicine, retired family physician, former Air Force flight surgeon and co-founder of the Science-Based Medicine Blog;

Steven Novella, a clinical neurologist and president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society and the Science-Based Medicine Blog;

Robert Bullard, a distinguished professor of Urban Planning, Environmental and Public health, and environmental justice;

David Gorski, a Professor of Surgery and researcher at Wayne State University School of Medicine and managing editor of Science-Based Medicine.

*Please note: these signers are acting in their personal capacity as experts and citizens; their views do not necessarily reflect those of their institutions.

Why is this important?

Science is essential for guiding public policy. Responsible policymakers of both parties have, for decades, relied on scientific advice and expertise to inform their decision-making. Because of the importance of science to our country’s well-being, it is critical that candidates and their advisors reflect the best scientific thinking.

As members of the scientific community, we feel the need to speak out because one presidential candidate transcends politics, policy, and ideology with his embrace of conspiracy theories, anti-science attitudes, and disregard for experts. We believe it is appropriate to warn our fellow citizens about the risks associated with elevating Donald Trump to the presidency. We urge our peers to join us in making it clear that Mr. Trump’s statements are not only at odds with scientific reality, but represent a dangerous rejection of scientific thinking.

Donald Trump is Not Who We Are.

For example:

Vaccines save lives every day, but Mr. Trump has stoked(1) discredited fears about vaccines and autism and accused(2) doctors of lying to people about them.

Every major country on Earth is adapting to a changing climate and reducing emissions from fossil fuels, but Mr. Trump has claimed it is a hoax(3), a statement that prompted a response(4) from hundreds of members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the country’s leading scientific advisory body.

Mr. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has a similarly disconcerting record:

He also dismisses(5) the evidence that climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels.

He delivered a speech to the House of Representatives challenging(6) the teaching of evolutionary science in classrooms based on a misreading of how evolution works.

Nearly 40 years after the Surgeon General first warned us about the dangers of smoking, Pence claimed that(7) “smoking doesn’t kill” and said there was no direct link(8) between smoking and lung disease.

These are not the words and thoughts of responsible leaders.

American scientific advances have cured diseases, fed billions, created new industries and landed astronauts on the Moon. Today, the president manages agencies that collectively employ thousands of scientists charged with critical tasks, from monitoring our air and water quality to testing new medicines, to managing our nuclear weapons stockpiles.

People who embrace conspiracy theories, spread misinformation, and dismiss science should have no place in our government.

We all have different political backgrounds and this isn’t about partisan politics for us.

As Americans - and as members of the scientific community - Donald Trump is simply not who we are.

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(1) http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2015/09/16/cnn-reagan-library-debate-later-debate-full-transcript/
(2) https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/507158574670573568?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
(3) https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/427556692109574146?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
(4) http://responsiblescientists.org/
(5) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/14/watch-mike-pence-trumps-likely-vp-pick-question-global-warming-and-demur-on-evolution/?utm_term=.f4afd000d16f
(6) https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2002/7/11/house-section/article/h4527-1?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22mike+pence%5C%22%22%5D%7D&resultIndex=190
(7) https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/smoking-doesnt-kill-and-other-great-old-op-eds-from-mike-pen?utm_term=.asDPab4y9D#.uxyYBAXME6
(8) https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/mike-pence-defended-his-smoking-doesnt-kill-op-ed-in-a-2000?utm_term=.np5bmlwYyv#.prnR6P4eNY


Reasons for signing

  • Healthcare is a civil and human right and we need our scientific community to support and protect all of our citizens and their healthcare needs, not just those who can afford to pay for it.
  • I signed because I believe in science.
  • Climate change could destroy Civilization as we know it.

Updates

2016-10-01 10:40:37 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2016-09-28 22:13:53 -0400

500 signatures reached

2016-09-28 16:25:11 -0400

100 signatures reached

2016-09-28 16:06:49 -0400

50 signatures reached

2016-09-28 15:10:11 -0400

25 signatures reached

2016-09-28 13:24:37 -0400

10 signatures reached

The views expressed in this letter are solely those of the individual author. They do not express the views or endorsement of any named organization