Sunday, November 27, 2016

Help Monitor the Impact of Trump on Science

Yup, I know I'm saturating this place with posts, but these are extraordinary times, even if most haven't figured it out yet!  I believe one of the future looking things that must be started immediately is to thoroughly document Trump's coming War on Science and Earth Stewardship concerns.  In my last post I highlighted John Dupuis' noteworthy effort in that direction at  

Here I want to highlight another effort to track Trump's impact on actual scientists and their work, while encouraging a broader awareness, discussion and engagement of citizens with our political system.  As explains it:  "We are seeking to rapidly gather your concerns and to document any changes you may be experiencing. We need to move from rumors to a set of case studies to help inform what we need to monitor and respond to."

Can you help? 


Monitoring the Impact of the Trump Presidency on Science

What impacts have you seen or concerns have you voiced over science under president Trump?  
Go to  where there's a text box you can use to describe your concern.  You can also join the discussion under other commentaries.
We have heard anecdotal stories about the election of Donald Trump causing immediate disruption to career plans, investments, and roles in new consortia because of uncertainty about his understanding of and commitment to the US science enterprise, whether he will continue to fund certain areas of research, and concern over his history of science denial on climate change, vaccinations, the dangers of asbestos, and other topics.

We are seeking to rapidly gather your concerns and to document any changes you may be experiencing. We need to move from rumors to a set of case studies to help inform what we need to monitor and respond to.

Additionally, the public and media are interested in the potential impact. It is vital for our sector to get strong representation in policy during these turbulent times – and that means public awareness of the challenges we are facing.

Please let us know your concerns and how the election of Donald Trump and his statements about science (at and elsewhere) are affecting you, your colleagues, and US science.

Federal data collection/access
Under some past administrations, federal data collection/access (i.e Census) and terminology for population health was a problem. I've seen challenges to the Census (imagine racial data under an alt-right administration) epidemiological research. Health disparities and health equity data are threatening to conservative world views. If what gets measured gets addressed, then public health science is vulnerable.

Take action - write and call
Write and call Trump and tell him to replace Ebell with someone less odious. Write and call your congresspeople and tell them to demand that, too. If the Sceince Debate team could coordinate that (e.g., provide a form on a web page and inform everyone interested), many thanks - that would be really helpful.

Climate change is real. Whether it is a fluctuation or a man-made phenomenon, and to what extent we can slow it down - these questions still need to be investigated. Ebell is not going to do that; he will just ignore the issue altogether.
P.S. No…

Trump will be sympethic to the public land transfer movement
Trump has already made statements that he will rollback regulations. This means that Federal agencies like the EPA and the BLM may see significant budgetary cuts to their agencies and radical changes in environmental protections and land management policies. The BLM is already seen in the west as a "Bureaucratic", with Washington D.C. in complete the control. GOP politicians have taken advantage of this perception and are actively trying to pass legislation that will strip power from the Federal Government. We are likely to see starving the BLM and EPA of funding and staff resources, thereby rendering these agencies ineffective.… more

Cultural War
Our country is in a cultural war in which the know somethings are at war with the know nothings. The problem is that it takes great effort and investment for the know somethings to create something worthwhile but it takes little time and effort at all for a know nothing to destroy what the know somethings create. And the destruction will last a very long time.For example, we were making magnificent progress in eliminating obsolete fossil fuels as a source of energy but now the project to completely eliminate fossil fuels will be set back several centuries by the simple election of Trump

Students are afraid for their future
Students are afraid for their futures, seeing their career options in science suddenly narrowing at the same time that the overwhelming crisis of climate change is endangering their planet.

Science Education
Education in America is lagging, but science education is falling further behind than many other disciplines. With a president setting an example and driving policy I fear an entire generation of youth will grow up to not only be ignorant to but denounce science altogether. Mike Pence is most notable for denying evolution and Trump climate change. This does not bode well for the direction of science education under this administration.

A Time to Pause for Perspective
11-8-16 has had, for me, the identical effect as 9-11-01: shock. What I hope does not happen is what happened after 9-11-01: when we reached the fork in the road of what to do, we chose the route of anger and war. Our response was disastrous, to us, then and continues to today. I blog, and for anyone interested see Nov. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 at A wise church pastor in Minneapolis, Fr. Joe Gillespie, helped put the situation in a more hopeful perspective last Sunday. "...we must address our grief, anger and differences in candid conversations based… more

A Changed World Coming: Going backward
Among the things I fear is (1) going back to a time when abortion was unavailable and contraception was a secret, and expensive. Women's lives were determined and constricted by these conditions. Families were ruined. (2) It is not only Trump who will arrange this, but a significant portion of the Republic party (if they call my party the Democrat party, we should call theirs the Republic party) and they will do it through the Supreme Court appointments. After all, there was no publicly available contraception when the Constitution was written, and they want things to be only what was… more

No Understanding period
You could have stopped after 'concerns of his understanding'. Whether Science, Or Anything Else, he has NO Understanding. His academic level of whatever degree of science he has will only carry so far, again, as with anything else. Without True Knowledge that includes the branch of Common Sense, nothing can be done let alone built, furthermore, become solid & permanent. We all need to hope for Good Luck and good riddance of all things and People not aligned with Mother Nature, SCIENCE! Wisdom Is that Foundation.

Trump Can't Grasp Common Facts, Much Less Scientific Facts
It almost seems like a luxury to be concerned about scientific knowledge and advancement when Trump and his associates seem unable to distinguish between the true and the false in everyday matters, much less scientific ones. For a man who couldn't determine if Obama was from the US, it will be nearly impossible for him to grasp the issues surrounding the question of global warming and whether or not it's anthropomorphic. He probably doesn't even know what anthropomorphic means...and I'm not trying to be dismissive. I'm serious. His degree of understanding about the world and his level of interest and/or…

Flooding the job market: Impacts of cutting federal funding for science and freezing federal hiring.
I'm finishing my postdoc now and looking for jobs in the science industry. I'm extremely concerned, not only about the potential for further gutting of federal funding for science, but also about Trump's desire to freeze federal hiring, except in a few select health-related sectors. This will likely flush job applicants out of both academia and the federal government, and I'm extremely worried that I'll have reduced success finding a job because of these anti-science policies.

Climate science
Trump is slated to elect Myron Ebell, an outspoken climate change denier, as the head of his EPA transition team. This would undermine all climate change initiatives that have been taken under Obama's initiative.

Never been concerned with leadership before. . .
Really worried after seeing the rhetoric and false truth proffering, and especially from a person who will be our next president. My entire adult life I have been an academic, bordering on a translational science developer. From new tests for healthy foods to environmental advice for natural pollutants and manmade contaminants, and new drug for chronic disease, none of this could have happened without Federal support. My work has always been for the benefit of the American people. I believe this administration may be the end of science as we know it. And I am in despair. We ALL should be fearful.

Trump's Election Has Already Had A Chilling Effect
Trump's election to the US Presidency has already had a chilling effect on international relationships. The scientific community is truly an international enterprise, and the US has since World War II been at the forefront of research and teaching science and attracting worldwide talent. I am an astronomer in Chile, and I have I have documented brilliant students here who were once considering the US as an option for graduate school now seriously rethink those plans.  The US, once thought to be a promising option for study and research, is looking less plausible as an option due to the campaign rhetoric of the President-Elect. If people from outside the United States are no longer be welcome into the country, if they are subject to harassment upon their arrival, if there are legitimate concerns for their safety, the US scientific community will suffer with nearly immediate effect.


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