On November 4th, local time, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden received 264 electoral votes in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. If he can win Nevada’s six electoral votes, Biden will ask the new president of the United States with 270 votes. In a nature survey of its scientist readership, 86 percent said they would vote for Biden. On November 5th Nature updated an article detailing the damage done to science during Mr. Trump’s four years in office, saying it “will take decades to fix.”
In contrast, four top issues, including Nature Science, The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, have recently published articles supporting Biden’s election as president of the United States.
In the election, Biden also promised to “let science play a leading role.” That gives hope to the scientific community that it is reversing some of Mr. Trump’s “catastrophic” moves.
“Some of the damage that Trump has done to the American scientific community may be permanent. “
During his four years in office, Mr. Trump has done many surprising things to the American scientific community, including weakening environmental protection and public health regulations and respecting and attaching importance to science. This has exacerbated the spread of the new crown pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States.
Some of the damage Mr. Trump has done to the American scientific community could be permanent and could take decades to recover, according to a nature article.
1. The crisis of the new crown outbreak
As of Wednesday, there were 9.4 million confirmed cases of new crown pneumonia in the United States, with more than 230,000 deaths, more than any other country.
Many experts blame Trump for the U.S. failure to contain the outbreak. If the potential dangers of coronavirus are falsely reported, protests are encouraged to protest against blocking rules designed to stop the spread of the disease, undermining, suppressing and censoring scientists’ research on the new coronavirus.
“The president has repeatedly undermined efforts to control the virus and save lives, focusing instead on his own political campaign.” Olivia Troye, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said.
Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
On Election Day, November 4, the United States formally announced its withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
The move is not surprising. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called global warming a hoax and vowed to “save” the United States from the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement signed by more than 190 countries.
“The Age of Trump is a terrible time for this planet.” Leah Stokes, a climate policy researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said.
3. Undermine the independence of scientific research
In many institutions, policy experts say, the Trump administration undermines the integrity of science by suppressing or distorting evidence to support political decisions. Policies to limit environmental pollution, such as cutting the scientific role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have become Political Tools for Trump.
“It’s totally devastating.” “Not listening to science and repealing environmental regulations is costing Americans their lives,” said Francesca Dominici, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. “
Trump’s isolationist policies have weakened America’s standing on the global stage. By closing America’s doors, america’s appeal to international students and researchers is declining.
In addition, scientific research in the United States has become increasingly isolated from UNESCO, the World Health Organization, and so on.
How will Biden clean up the mess?
In contrast, during the presidential campaign, Biden promised to respect the values of research and vowed to work to restore America’s fractured global relationship. That gives hope to the scientific community that it is reversing some of Mr. Trump’s “catastrophic” moves.
In a Nature survey of about 580 eligible respondents, 86 percent of scientists voted for Biden. Among the group of scientists, social scientists have the highest approval rating for Biden, at more than 90 percent, while 83 percent of physics and computer scientists support him.
If Biden is elected, how will it affect American science? What obstacles will you face? Nature and science have also recently conducted an inventory. Here’s what’s specific:
1. Respond to the new crown pandemic
Mr. Trump politicizes the outbreak, which will be hard to undo. If Biden wins, his administration will have to address public distrust of federal agencies that lead the U.S. response to the outbreak.
In the long run, researchers hope the Biden administration will better build America’s public health infrastructure to better respond to future crises.
Biden pledged to support WHO, in addition to providing WHO with much-needed funding to fight coronavirus, polio and other diseases around the world, paving the way for membership in the International COVAX (New Coronary Pneumonia Vaccine Implementation Program) facility.
Combating climate change
Biden’s current campaign platform is the most radical climate policy platform put forward by a U.S. presidential candidate in the general election: a call for the U.S. to produce 100 percent of its clean electricity by 2035 and achieve “net zero emissions” by 2050. If Biden wins the election, the question will be how to achieve that goal.
Biden said he would bring the U.S. back into the Paris climate accord as an active partner for more than 190 countries. He will also appoint the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate-friendly leader to restore or even strengthen climate and environmental regulations that have been repealed over the past four years under Trump.
However, some environmental experts said, “It’s easy to rejoin the Paris agreement.” The real question is credibility, will the rest of the world believe what we say? “
Science takes precedence
Biden’s most obvious interest in research is cancer science, especially after his 46-year-old son died of brain cancer in 2015. As vice president at the time, Biden led the “Cancer Landing” government program launched in 2016.
Although Biden and his partner Harris generally support science and its role in making public policy, neither of them has done extensive work on science.
Michael Lubell, a physicist and expert on science policy at City College in New York, said that if Biden is elected, he should choose a scientific adviser as soon as possible to begin developing and implementing any research priorities that arise.
Strengthen international research cooperation
As for the damage that Trump’s isolationist stance will do to American science, scientists believe Biden’s foreign policy and immigration plans could mend some broken relationships.
Biden has promised to lift the travel ban and make it easier for foreign scientists and engineers with doctorates to stay in the U.S. permanently. He also proposed increasing the number of visas for highly skilled workers, including scientists.
However, the Science article argues that if Biden becomes president, he is likely to continue to focus on research and national security. Research partnerships between the United States and China will continue to face challenges.
In addition, Biden promised to increase spending on science. He may ask members of Congress to approve a series of spending plans at the beginning of his term. Universities and research groups want more funding, saying federal scientific institutions need tens of billions of dollars to help them recover from the outbreak.
For now, however, it remains to be seen whether Biden will eventually be elected president of the United States. Even if elected, which party controls the Senate and House of Representatives will influence Biden’s efforts to push through new legislation, including policies pursued by the scientific community.
Everything, wait and see.
Author . . Princess Feng