I’ve known I was going to be a scientist since I was in middle school. I’ve spent my entire adult life, since I was 17 and starting college, learning about and doing Science. I’ve been an engaged activist my whole life as well. I have to make clear that what’s happening now is WAY beyond the normal political oscillations that occur every 4 or 8 years. It is no exaggeration to say we have entered a reckless regime of anti-science governance.
Since the political convention of last summer and subsequent electoral college outcome, our Federal Government has: turned fully away from staffing most science policy positions and declared intent to underfund or fully cut programs, and to undo the environmental gains of the last 12+ years. Federal lands are up for sale, and bills have been introduced to the House to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal laws that have WORKED, like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, are targeted for repeal. Although these laws might survive a repeal, they will certainly emerge weakened or crippled, and we cannot let that happen. These laws work so well they are now in the background in ways we don’t see or appreciate anymore. But we can see bald eagles in Ohio, thanks to federal regulation of DDT and the Endangered Species Act. I could give many more examples of how peer-reviewed science had resulted in policies that work.
Fundamentally, Science is “a candle in the dark” to quote Carl Sagan. Science has extended our lifespans and our reach into the Universe. So much of our medicine, technology, materials, knowledge of the world, and everyday living is a direct result of scientific research and discovery. For our country’s leaders to turn away from ALL OF THIS for political gain is ignorant and immoral. It is self-defeating madness to build walls, and to reject immigrants, because they drive much of our scientific enterprise and excellence.
Lastly, I march because I am in love, deeply in love, with the Natural World. I March in memory of the beautiful times in my life I’ve spend in intimate observation of trees, fungi, moss, flowers, insects… with Life. I want to fiercely defend landscapes and organisms that can’t write a politician a check or call a lawyer to defend themselves. And I want to share that love of discovery with my students, and help them to learn how to do science and be part of this larger community.
These are just a tiny fraction of the reasons why I March.”
I invite you all to read more about the Core Principles of the #MarchForScience
* Science that serves the common good
* Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest
* Cutting-edge science education
* Diversity and Inclusion in STEM
* Open, honest science and inclusive public outreach
* Funding for scientific research and its applications