Opinion Piece Discusses Role Of Scientific Journal Editors Amid Politicization Of Pandemic

STAT: Science journal editors shouldn’t contribute to politicizing science
Genevieve Kanter, assistant professor of medicine and medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

“When the editors of some of the world’s leading science journals agree on something, it is generally safe to assume that they are correct. So when prominent journals like Science, Nature, and the New England Journal of Medicine recently published editorials excoriating President Trump’s deadly bungling of the pandemic response and suppression of scientific activity, the editors accurately spotlighted the troubling deficiencies of the current administration. But in advocating against or endorsing a presidential candidate, these editors made a grave error. In taking this extraordinary step, they made themselves vulnerable to charges of bias, overstepped their roles as science editors, and succumbed to the politicization of science that they and many other scientists find so alarming. … But the editors could have expressed these values without putting out political yard signs. … In other words, they could have honored the scientific integrity and discernment of their readers and the public. With the scientific challenges of Covid-19, these editors are correct that this election is a crucial opportunity to reclaim public health and science leadership in this country. This provides all the more reason to cleave tightly to core scientific principles that will outlast politics” (10/23).

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