"It Can't Happen Here, Can It?" Will Trump and Climate Deniers Purge American Science and Technology?
tags: McCarthyism,J. Robert Oppenheimer,climate denial,misinformation,Trump administration,Paul N. Edwards
Paul Edwards is a professor in the School of Information and the Department of History at the University of Michigan (and the author of the excellent A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming). He wrote this disturbing column for Theconversation.com. The Trump transition team’s very specific and comprehensive questionnaire to the Department of Energy about its climate change researchers justifiably raised fears of a purge of climate scientist and scientists.
Edwards’ accurate but awkward phrase, “ideology-driven science,” denotes not a state promoting one field of research over another (e.g., solid-fuel over liquid-fuel rockets) but the active suppression of research and researchers for political reasons. Sadly, the examples include totalitarian and democratic governments with engineers and scientists far more likely to only lose their livelihoods and not their lives in the latter. Beyond the personal costs of careers destroyed or damaged looms the larger, more intangible consequences to that country of a research area stunted, driven underground, or halted. It can be the national equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot or worse.
Trump questionnaire recalls dark history ofscience
Energy’s interest in climate
An ideologically driven purge?
Worries over dismissal or intimidation
The Department of Energy’s response
Nightfall for climate science?
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