Science in the post-truth era

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Author: Jamie L. Vernon
Date: January-February 2017
From: American Scientist(Vol. 105, Issue 1)
Publisher: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Document Type: Editorial
Length: 584 words

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The inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States represents a sea change for the scientific enterprise. Trump has claimed, variously, that climate change is a hoax, vaccines trigger autism, and compact fluorescent light bulbs cause cancer. These views stand at odds with scientific evidence. Many have argued that his election confirms we have entered a post-truth era, in which facts are considered subjective and any information that conflicts with one's personal opinion is justifiably questionable.

This sociopolitical moment has arrived even as science and technology--institutions that intrinsically rely on objective observations of reality--have reached a pinnacle of influence and usefulness. Science has made it possible to defeat emerging health threats, overcome diminishing resource availability, ease environmental stress, and accelerate economic growth. Survey data show that the public overwhelmingly supports investments in these areas. Generally speaking, the aims of scientists and...

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Source Citation
Vernon, Jamie L. "Science in the post-truth era." American Scientist, vol. 105, no. 1, 2017, p. 2. Accessed 26 Sept. 2020.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A477991407