The public trusts those with strong moral codes lying in a plane above politics. Four of the five most trusted institutions in the United States are the military, the police, the church, and medicine. All of which are supported by apolitical moral backbones.
Congruently, we distrust those possessing no morals above the political. Among the least popular institutions in this country: Congress, TV news, organized labor, and newspapers.
Every time science picks sides in politics, it slips away from the trusted group and sinks toward the disreputable one. Science is selling away its considerable moral stock by choosing to fight for the momentary goals of its political favorites. That’s a terrible, shortsighted bargain.
Just as science needs a system of morals outside of politics, it needs a system of discerning merit outside of politics too. Scientists should be choosing and rewarding their leaders and workers by quality of output and scientific ability. When we trade this honest system of merit for politically correct affirmative action, we throw away the confidence of a huge swath of the public.