WashU Expert: Strassmann offers advice to all on using evidence in decision-making

'We cannot move forward wisely on any issue with an administration that does not respect evidence'

Strassman
Strassmann

Joan E. Strassmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studies the evolution of conflict and cooperation. She writes a popular blog on becoming a biology professor with the goal of diversifying the professoriate. These remarks are excerpted from a guest blog that appeared in Scientific American Jan. 18:

“In his campaign, Mr. Trump went to unprecedented lengths to demonstrate his disrespect for human beings and for scientific evidence. Both are extremely dangerous in a president. I object strongly to his contempt of immigrants, people of color, the disabled, and women. As a scientist, I object to his unfounded assertions, including those on climate change, the impact of Planned Parenthood on the lives of women and children, and the Affordable Care Act, to name just a few. His statements during the campaign received the lowest scores from independent fact checkers that have ever been seen on in a national campaign for our nation’s top office.

“Mr. Trump and his team make many specific assertions that disregard evidence about issues vital to women, children, families, and the environment. They wish to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ignoring over 16 million formerly uninsured Americans who now have health insurance. The temperature of the earth is rising faster and faster due to human activities that pump carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. The increasing damage to the environment and to human lives is enormous. Yet Mr. Trump has named a climate change skeptic to head the Environmental Protection Agency and threatens to withdraw the US from the historic Paris agreement on climate change. Decisions not based on evidence that are instead based on prejudice, personal preference, or ideology are bad decisions.”

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