The Editorial Board Scientific American (thanks to the commenters for the correction) has just published a scathing article penned by the group 500 Women Scientists excoriating Bill Nye for, among other things, participating in tonight’s SOTU address at the invitation of climate denier Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Trump’s nominee for NASA administrator. It lays out a case for how Bill Nye has effectively gone rogue in insisting on participating in useless debates against climate deniers, thereby giving them a platform that should have been denied to them.
Here is a sample:
As scientists, we cannot stand by while Nye lends our community’s credibility to a man who would undermine the United States’ most prominent science agency. And we cannot stand by while Nye uses his public persona as a science entertainer to support an administration that is expressly xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, ableist, and anti-science.
Scientists are people, and in today’s society, it is impossible to separate science at major agencies like NASA from other pressing issues like racism, bigotry, and misogyny. Addressing these issues should be a priority, not only to strengthen our own scientific community, but to better serve the public that often funds our work. Rather than wield his public persona to bring attention to the need for science-informed policy, Bill Nye has chosen to excuse Rep. Bridenstine’s anti-science record and his stance on civil rights, and to implicitly support a stance that would diminish the agency’s work studying our own planet and its changing climate.
Bill Nye does not speak for us or for the members of the scientific community who have to protect not only the integrity of their research, but also their basic right to do science. We stand with others who have asked Bill Nye to not attend the State of the Union. Nye’s complicity does not align him with the researchers who have a bold and progressive vision for the future of science and its role in society.
None of this is probably news to anybody, but it is a good read nonetheless.
Many heartfelt thanks to all my commenters for pointing out the innacuracies in my headline and story lead. They have been fixed. I certainly did not intend to mischaracterize what I was reporting on. Lesson learned, I’ll read bylines more carefully next time.