Gradually, then suddenly

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Nov 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6517, pp. 639
DOI: 10.1126/science.abf5396


Racism, climate denial, and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are major crises standing in the way of a prosperous future for the United States, and resolution of all three could be enabled by science that is persistently ignored. In Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises, a character named Mike is asked how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” he answers. “Gradually, then suddenly.” The resistance of U.S. policy to science has followed a similar path: It gradually built up over 40 years, beginning with the election of Ronald Reagan, but suddenly reached a tipping point in the chaos of 2020. Will the path to resolution also be gradual and then sudden, and if so, at what cost?

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science