Scientific American broke with tradition and spoke out against the Republican Party's presidential nominee over concerns that he is violating "the nation's founding principles of truth and evidence."
An editorial set to appear in the Sept. 1 issue of Scientific American magazine sounds an ominous warning with the title: "Donald Trump’s Lack of Respect for Science Is Alarming."
"[O]ne of the two major party candidates for the highest office in the land has repeatedly and resoundingly demonstrated a disregard, if not outright contempt, for science," the magazine's editorial board explains in the column. "Donald Trump also has shown an authoritarian tendency to base policy arguments on questionable assertions of fact and a cult of personality."
The editors point out that principles of science are "the heart of the country's particular brand of democratic government."
"Scientific American is not in the business of endorsing political candidates. But we do take a stand for science—the most reliable path to objective knowledge the world has seen—and the Enlightenment values that gave rise to it," the editorial says. "It won't come as a surprise to anyone who pays even superficial attention to politics that over the past few decades facts have become an undervalued commodity."
However, the magazine asserts that Donald Trump's disdain of science "is something special."
It takes antiscience to previously unexplored terrain. When the major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago, we can only hope that there is nowhere to go but up.
The editorial stops short of endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but it encourages leaders to "demonstrate a respect for scientific truths in word and deed."
"And we urge the people who vote to hold them to that standard," the column concludes.