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In October 2020, the scientific journal Nature took the unusual step of endorsing Joe Biden’s election — the first time the publication had ever endorsed a candidate for office.
“No US president in recent history has so relentlessly attacked and undermined so many valuable institutions, from science agencies to the media, the courts, the Department of Justice — and even the electoral system,” they wrote. “Trump claims to put ‘America First’. But in his response to the pandemic, Trump has put himself first, not America.”
Their argument was not particularly novel, but I was broadly sympathetic to the points and certainly found it understandable that the journal’s editors wanted to do what they could to contribute to the functioning of society. It also did not, at the time, strike me as an intervention that was likely to be successful. And this fall, Nature’…
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