Eighty-one American winners of Nobel prizes in the fields of chemistry, medicine and physics have endorsed Joe Biden for president, based on the candidate’s support for science.
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An open letter signed by the laureates asserts that the United States is at a unique historical crossroads demanding that leaders “appreciate the value of science”. The Biden campaign released the letter on Wednesday.
The letter from the Nobel laureates endorses Biden with three sentences:
At no time in our nation’s history has there been a greater need for our leaders to appreciate the value of science in formulating public policy. During his long record of public service, Joe Biden has consistently demonstrated his willingness to listen to experts, his understanding of the value of international collaboration in research, and his respect for the contribution that immigrants make to the intellectual life of our country. As American citizens and as scientists, we wholeheartedly endorse Joe Biden for President.
The letter does not make explicit reference to the coronavirus pandemic or to the climate emergency, but it does single out an issue outside the expertise of the signatories: immigration.
Biden respects “the contribution that immigrants make to the intellectual life of our country”, the letter says.
In July, the Donald Trump administration advanced a plan to deport foreign students in the United States whose classes had moved online owing to the pandemic, but the plan was soon shelved.
Trump has described climate change as a conspiracy advanced by China and he regularly undermines efforts by public health officials to communicate the most basic details about coronavirus transmission and safety measures.
He has failed to get the pandemic under control, while claiming the virus will simply go away, and has put the US on the path to leaving the landmark international Paris climate accord the day after the presidential election, 4 November.
The group endorsement was organized by Representative Bill Foster of Illinois, CNN reported. Before joining Congress, Foster worked as a high-energy physicist and particle accelerator designer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and was a member of the team that discovered the top quark, the heaviest known form of matter, according to his official biography.
The Nobel prizes were endowed in 1895 by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist whose pioneering work in explosives led to an industrial career and fortune. Laureates outside the sciences include Biden’s former running mate, Barack Obama, who was awarded the 2009 Nobel peace prize.