Did anybody wince with me when Joe Biden, asked what he would do if scientists advised him to shut down the economy over coronavirus concerns, quickly replied, "I would shut it down"? Might he at least have prefaced, "I hope it doesn't come to that," to offer some assurance that he won't act rashly? It still seems wrong that a president can decide, without having to ask anybody, to shut down the economy. In 1963 John F. Kennedy voiced a more thoughtful approach: "Scientists alone can establish the objectives of their research, but society, in extending support to science, must take into account its own needs." –Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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