Rejecting Rhetoric and Actions that Divide Us

Statement by Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 21, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (November 20, 2016)—Below is a statement from Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

“At UCS, we reject rhetoric and will resist actions that divide the nation by race, religion, gender, geography, or any other factor. We stand shoulder to shoulder with people across the country who are facing increasing incidents of harassment and hate.

“In order to make progress on the critical problems facing our nation, President-elect Trump must move away from the divisive rhetoric of the campaign and proposed policies that target and malign people of color, women, immigrants and others. We cannot move forward to tackle the enormous challenges of our time without a cohesive, respectful and pluralistic society. In fact, social science research has demonstrated that teams made up of diverse individuals are more effective at problem solving than those made up of similar, like-minded individuals.

“We are also weaker as a nation when we look backward and protect the privileges of the past, rather than look forward and strive for a better future for all—especially the many Americans who have been left behind as the economy recovered in some locations.  And we must defeat the false notion that protecting our natural environment conflicts with boosting our economy. With climate impacts already harming Americans, it is critical that we put people to work building a clean energy infrastructure, and ramp up investments in disaster preparedness to help protect everyone—especially low income communities, tribal communities and communities of color who bear a disproportionate burden of climate impacts and disasters.

“While many groups were denigrated in this election cycle, I want to particularly speak to refugees and immigrants.  Immigrants are essential contributors to our nation.  That is especially true in the scientific enterprise. In fact, among the refugees fleeing Europe after World War II, there are dozens who went on to win the Nobel Prize, national medal of science, or contribute to the U.S. scientific enterprise at the highest levels.  And just this past year, all six of the 2016 American Nobel Prize winners in scientific fields were immigrants.”