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American democracy is built on a respect for the law, a common sense of decency and a willingness to conform to mutually agreed upon norms—even when elections or legislation do not go our way. Expressing dissent through protest is a core civil right. However, attempting to impede the democratic process through violence and to supplant the results of a free and fair election are in direct opposition to the principles we hold sacred.

Like most people, we were horrified by the events on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol, when a violent mob drove the people’s representatives from their chambers, defaced cherished symbols of our republic and caused death and destruction. The American Physiological Society condemns these actions in the strongest terms.

As a scientific community, we are grounded in facts and data, value debate and dissent, and expect our colleagues to play by similar rules to ensure the advancement of scientific knowledge. At the same time, we know that an open democratic society—committed to objective outcomes and unfettered exploration—is a catalyst for scientific discovery. Today, science is more critical than ever to solve the problems we face.

Regardless of political party or ideology, we urge all Americans to seek common ground, working together to advance the principles upon which our democracy was founded.

Linda Samuelson, PhD, FAPS
APS President

Scott Steen, CAE, FASAE
APS Executive Director