There is actually no clear translation for the verb “to endorse”. An “endorsement” is definitely something clear: public support for someone or something. Often it is mutual, for example when an athlete likes an energy bar in public, a guitarist a guitar manufacturer or a Youtuber a make-up line.
In the US, a different endorsement question arises every four years: which presidential candidate should one support? Countertrades also play a role here. For example, when an opponent who has lost in the primaries becomes a passionate supporter in order to secure an office, if not dignity.
But many newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, and websites that are actually committed to political objectivity then decide to make an election recommendation. This can be reconciled with objectivity insofar as it does not mean neutrality.
The “New York Times” will soon position itself officially. She has always done it since 1860, then for a Republican named Abraham Lincoln.
It is a sensation that a magazine like “Scientific American” calls on its readers to give their votes to a certain candidate. It has never done anything comparable in the 175 years that it has existed.
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Actually committed to neutrality
Not only is it the oldest continuous magazine in the United States, but it is still considered the most important popular voice in American science. Because many of the texts published there still come from researchers themselves – and not from journalists.
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But science itself is really politically obliged to be neutral. With “Scientific American” one emphasizes that the decision was not made easy for himself. The editors cite above all the denial of scientific evidence on Covid-19 by the candidate Trump as the motivation.
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That would, however – which would be much more stringent in scientific thinking – speak in favor of simply speaking out against Donald Trump, but not in favor of his challenger Joe Biden. The accusation that the decision has something to do with PR for the 175th anniversary is also loud.
The decisive factor was probably that in 2020 science will be more political in the USA than perhaps never before – and that primarily due to anti-scientific politics. In a free country, however, its leaders should always “endorse” one thing: the most free, objective and neutral science and its results. So temporary and uncomfortable that can often be.