AAAS President Says Big Business ‘Driving Science Into a Dark Era’
Most scientists, on achieving high office, keep their public remarks to the bland and reassuring, but Nina Fedoroff, the president of AAAS and one of the world’s most distinguished agricultural scientists, recently broke ranks in a spectacular manner. She confessed that she was now “scared to death” by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.
Fedoroff made the remarks at the AAAS annual meeting, an event at which scientists normally revel in their latest accomplishments: new insights into marine biology or first results from a recently launched satellite, for example. But this year there has been a palpable chill to proceedings. Yes, good work was reported to the 8,000 who attended the various symposia and lectures at the meeting in Vancouver. However, these pronouncements were set against a background of an entire intellectual discipline that realizes that it, and its practitioners, are now under sustained attack.