LAST month, we did something in these pages that we have never seen fit to do before: praise Donald Trump. We now admit that we were wrong.
The US president won our approval with his response to the opioid crisis, which kills about 175 Americans a day. He not only recognised the problem but also set up a special commission whose lengthy and evidence-based report made 56 recommendations for ending the crisis.
It seems to have been empty words. None of the recommendations has been acted on, and no new funding has been forthcoming, except for a law-enforcement crackdown on the drugs (see “Trump’s 90-day plan for opioids has failed – here’s a better one“).
So yet again we find ourselves criticising Trump, even though we know that some readers are tired of it. Some are his supporters; others simply do not wish to see politics in a science magazine.
We make no apology for covering global political issues. Science does not exist in a bubble. It is influenced by, and influences, the wider world. It also underpins an enlightened world view that we strongly advocate. When powerful people do or say things that go against the grain of evidence, we will say so – and have done so throughout our 60-year history.
Our criticism is not party political. Trump is frequently in our sights because he is a serial offender. We also take aim at the UK government for its often-tenuous relationship with evidence. If Hillary Clinton were in the White House or Jeremy Corbyn in number 10, we would hold them to the same standards.The meat and drink of New Scientist remains science, technology and medicine. But we cannot and will not retreat into an ivory tower – especially when the occupant of the world’s most powerful political office is so contemptuous of scientific evidence and the good it can do.
|Colin Powell and Nikki Haley selling religious war at the United Nations.|
Continued here: New Scientist (2 August 2017)Comment: quantum computing (as opposed to quantum communications) is the focus of much research because (entanglement aside) it primarily moves from two digital states (0+1) to three (0-middle-1) but most punters overlook the requisite liquid nitrogen cooling tanks. It seems to me that memristor-based technology (with 7 or more states) might be a better candidate for certain applications like neural nets and artificial intelligence. Sci-fi author, Isaac Asimov, employed the phrase "positronic brain" as at literary device meaning "fill in the blank". I wonder if memristor technology could fill this roll
continued here: New Scientist (13 September 2017)
Continued here: New Scientist (12 August 2017)
Continued here: New Scientist (22 February 2017)
Isaac Asimov PhD
Carl Sagan PhD
(Astronomy and Astrophysics)
Arthur C Clark (B.Math)
--- xxx ---While on this topic, here is an essay titled The “Threat” of Creationism published in the 1984 book Science and Creationism.