In addition to immigrants, refugees, members of the trans community, women, racial minorities, and religious minorities, we can now add world-renowned theoretical physicists to the list of people who feel excluded from the United States under the new presidential administration. Stephen Hawking revealed feeling unwelcome by Trump's America in a Monday interview with Good Morning Britain.
"I have many friends and colleagues there, and it is still a place I like and admire in many ways, but I fear that I may not be welcome," he told Piers Morgan.
Hawking previously referred to Trump as a "demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator" during the 2016 election, a sentiment he continues to hold. "Trump was selected by a people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization," he said on Monday. He continued:
Pruitt poses a particularly strong concern for Hawking. When asked what message he'd like delivered to Trump by Morgan during an upcoming meeting, Hawking suggested that he urge President Trump to replace Pruitt as head of the EPA. "Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent," he said. "It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for his second term. God forbid."
Hawking also spoke of the Trump administration's order forbidding members of the EPA and other government agencies from communicating with the press or publishing scientific studies without White House approval. "A similar ruling in Canada had a chilling effect on science there," Hawking said.
Hawking is far from being the first scientist to speak out against Trump's policies. Given the president's long history of insisting that climate change is a hoax, his unfounded belief that vaccines cause autism, his calls for huge cuts to scientific research, his theory that environmentally-friendly light bulbs cause cancer, and his appointment of cabinet members, such as Betsy DeVos, who seem to not believe in evolution, Trump's relationship with the scientific community has been tense from the start of his political career. On Earth Day, scientists will hold a march on Washington to protest the president's policies.
One thing is for sure, when respected intellectual giants like Stephen Hawking feel unwelcome by your policies, it's definitely time to look more closely at what you stand for.