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October 16, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 40


Letters to the editor

Science and politics

An image of an article on Nancy Goroff.
Credit: C&EN

In response to C&EN’s published interview with Nancy Goroff (Sept. 7, 2020, page 22), I wanted to comment how impactful it is reading about a fellow PhD scientist advocating for science in government policies, especially in the current world we live in. Among the ongoing pandemic and lack of effective, science-based response employed by the US government, it is clear that an injection of scientific knowledge and understanding into government, across local, state, and federal levels, is needed to help combat the false information that has pervaded our everyday lives. Those scientists who are capable of effective communication, especially the communication of factual scientific information that can be used to help inform others, should certainly consider a role in government. The only way we, as scientists, can help resolve the ongoing issues that most especially need scientific support, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or climate change, is to get out of the lab and get “a seat at the table,” as mentioned in the article. I wish Dr. Goroff the best of luck with her ongoing campaign and hope that she will begin a trend of scientists transitioning into politics, effectively replacing political jargon with scientific fact. She has most certainly inspired me, a fellow PhD chemist, to begin considering my potential involvement in the political process.

Bo Tokarski
Powell, Ohio

As a 50-plus-year member of the American Chemical Society and therefore longtime reader of C&EN, I have seen many things pass through the hallowed covers of our magazine. However, I strongly believe that giving a political candidate free publicity as you did with Nancy Goroff is patently unfair, and I object to it in the strongest terms.

Charles Christopher
Cedar Park, Texas



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