Posted by: admin
Per a request from the comments on my post criticizing SEED’s presidential endorsement, I have read the Nature endorsement from the 30 October issue. For a scientific journal like Nature, offering an endorsement is perhaps a riskier effort than it is for a broader interest science magazine. A scientific journal’s stock in trade is the research it prints and the rigor of the review process that controls what goes in its pages. If a journal has something to say editorially, it usually limits itself to topics within its field. An editorial that strays into partisan arguments risks a journal’s reputation as an arbiter of high-quality research. That Nature felt the risk worth taking is notable. That it did so in a much more explicit, and more transparent fashion is encouraging. The endorsement is an example I would recommend to any and all organizations trying to be politically engaged and maintain the rigor, empiricism and other processes that science aspires to.
There is a lot in this endorsement that recognizes what SEED chooses to ignore or hide – that encouraging scientific thinking and science and technology advice in politics and policy is a value choice. This is clear from the lede:
“The values of scientific enquiry, rather than any particular policy positions on science, suggest a preference for one US presidential candidate over the other.”
(The bold is Nature’s) (more…)