Printed in January 2021 Issue
A number of science advocacy groups have joined calls for President Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office in the wake of his role in inciting a violent mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The March for Science is asking individuals and organizations to sign an online petition calling for Trump “to be removed from office immediately,” either through the congressional impeachment process or the invocation of the 25th Amendment by Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet.
“There is no room for hedging. We must be absolutely clear,” the petition reads. “This was an attempted coup, instigated by President Trump. Americans will indeed remember this day—with great shame—forever.” Nearly 3500 people, many of them scientists, had signed the petition as of Friday evening.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), as well as the groups 500 Women Scientists and 314 Action (which was formed to support science-oriented political candidates, but has since expanded its focus) have also released statements calling for Trump’s removal, arguing that a healthy democracy is critical for scientific progress. “There need to be consequences,” says Andrew Rosenberg, the director of UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy. “This was a true threat to our democracy.” March for Science is also telling followers to contact their congressional representatives directly to urge the president’s removal, and created a form message to help them do so. Earlier, the group tweeted a map showing which of the nation’s congressional representatives had already been contacted through the form. At that time, pins marked every contiguous state except Utah and the Dakotas. Followers quickly responded to the tweet promising to fill the gaps.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) has said she will begin impeachment proceedings against Trump if he does not step down “immediately.” Trump is scheduled to leave office on 20 January, the day President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in.