Mike Pence isn't intelligent

Biology: The Creator is at work

Since the end of election night, there have been many scientists who fear Mike Pence more than Donald Trump. This undoubtedly includes biologists. Trump's vice president is a radical denier of evolution. Charles Darwin's work of the millennium, without whose foundation neither today's microbiology, genetics nor biomedicine are conceivable, is, according to Pence, only a theory for which he sees no evidence and which has to stand alongside the creationist approach of "intelligent design" on an equal footing. Accordingly, every time a new species emerges, a creator is at work.

In the House of Representatives, Pence has made fiery speeches on the subject, as governor he wanted to make intelligent design a part of Indiana's curriculum. In addition, Trump has promised the retired presidential competitor Ben Carson an important political role. Carson, a neurosurgeon, is not only a creationist, he is a member of the Young Earth movement, which claims that the earth as a whole was created by God 10,000 years ago.

Humanities: "Dangerous Cocktail"

"The effect will be dramatic," says John Krige, science historian at the George School of Technology. "That won't be visible today or tomorrow, but in the longer term." Of course, nobody knows what exactly will happen, but the Republican Party wants to reduce government spending. Trump also fueled the anti-elitist mood in the country.

"Combine that and add xenophobia and you have a dangerous cocktail for the future of government research funding." The humanities could be hit particularly hard, fears Krige. "If the state withdraws, only research that is interesting for the economy has a chance." That is hardly the case with history or literary studies. In addition, Republicans consider many areas of humanities research to be driven by leftist ideology.

Space travel: NASA in the depths of space

Powerful men love grand gestures and great legacies. Every US president since John F. Kennedy has looked with envy at his successful moon flight initiative. George W. Bush, for example, announced extensive lunar and Mars flights. Such extravagant plans also inspire Donald Trump, who wants more private companies to participate.

At the same time he wants to free NASA from the "restriction" to take care of near-earth space. "NASA should primarily focus on activities in the depths of space, instead of earth-centered tasks," said Trump in October. Earth observation from space, an essential pillar of research into climate issues, the rise in sea levels, the biosphere and planetary ecology, is likely to have a much more difficult time in the coming years.

© SZ from November 17, 2016 / beu / kaik / pai / weis / zint / fehu