Tag Archives: science advocacy

Trump and Science: A conversation with Shawn Otto

shawn_otto
Shawn Otto

On November 8th, 2016, the entire planet received a punch in the gut. A political worst nightmare happened. The most qualified person to ever run for the office of President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, was defeated by the least qualified person to ever run for President, Donald Trump.

Since that fateful night, we’ve had the opportunity to see if things would end up being as bad as many suspected, as the Trump transition team puts together its future cabinet. It turns out we were wrong. Things are looking like they will be even worse than worst case. For this, there is not even a word.

How Should We Respond to the Election of Trump?

This week we speak with Shawn Otto, author of

The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It, about the implications of the presumed Donald Trump presidency, especially with respect to science policy. Given the way the Trump cabinet is forming up, this becomes an incredibly important conversation.

Shawn is also a co-founder of ScienceDebate.org.

You probably know that Shawn is an excellent writer, a promoter of science and science based policy, and a highly regarded political and social analyst. You might not know that Shawn is an experienced political operative as well, having run difficult but successful campaigns. Both of us (Haubrich and Laden) have experience working on campaigns, and we see Shawn as one of the regional go-to political gurus. During this podcast, we hear some of Shawn’s analysis of what happened in the recent national election in the US. Did Donald Trump win this election, or did Hillary Clinton lose it? And how did that happen? Is this the first Facebook-Twitter election?

In case you are interested in looking at some of the primary literature related to the rise of modern science, check out
Francis Bacon: The Major Works (Oxford World’s Classics).

Shawn’s earlier interview on Ikonokast is here.

We hope you enjoy our conversation with Shawn Otto:

Why Science?

Shawn Lawrence Otto
Shawn Lawrence Otto

This is the initial podcast of IkonoKast.  Our first guest is a writer who has done a great deal of work to support and encourage the advocacy of science for public policy.  Shawn Lawrence Otto is a screenwriter and novelist  His book Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America details the manner in which politicians have been attempting to ignore or diminish the role that science should play in the public discourse on policy.  He is a co-founder of ScienceDebate, which is the growing effort to engage candidates for the presidency of the United States in a debate for them to talk about science, specifically.

To introduce the show, Greg and Mike discuss science and what we want to achieve with the podcast.  What is science?  Why is it important?  How do interested parties who are not scientists discover which science is worth following and discard the pseudoscience when the media seem to report so poorly on topical issues of science?

Listen to the podcast, and please feel free to submit your feedback.

Shawn Otto adapted the screenplay for House Of Sand And Fog and recently published his first novel Sins of Our Fathers. Purchasing these products through the links helps to support Ikonokast.