In DepthSCIENCE AND POLITICS

She studied Mexico City. Can she lead it, too?

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Science  08 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6393, pp. 1052-1053
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6393.1052

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Summary

Until 3 years ago, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo worked quietly as an environmental engineer at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. Now, with a 20-point lead in the polls, she seems set to become mayor of this city of nearly 9 million people in elections on 1 July. Her work on energy science and engineering—with a focus on vehicle emissions and climate change mitigation—is respected both in Mexico and abroad, and she's a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and a former member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Many say she's uniquely positioned to understand and tackle the myriad problems that afflict the 20 million people in the city's metropolitan area, especially its stuffed-to-the-gills public transportation, epic traffic snarls, and worsening water crisis. Meanwhile, critics worry about Sheinbaum Pardo's close ties with Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a leftist populist and the leading candidate in Mexico's presidential election.