By Tiago Mata
Three days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the New Yorker published a profile of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, a small office created by Barack Obama in September 2015. In “Good Behavior” the reader accompanies Maya Shankar, the leader of the team, journeying to Flint, Michigan to aid a community injured by neglect and collapsing infrastructure. It was the New Yorker‘s farewell tribute to the Obama Presidency. Predictably, the team of behavioral scientists was an early candidate for Trump’s “you’re fired,” and their website now bears the disclaimer that its contents are “historical material ‘frozen in time’ on January 20, 2017.” In the profile, Shankar stands in for Obama. She is young, intelligent, accomplished, relaxed, devoted, at one point pledging to go without sleep to serve the people of Flint as the clock ticks towards her inevitable eviction from the West Wing.