March for Science: Science Not Silence
On April 22, I had the opportunity to participate in the March for Science. For those who don't know, feel free to check out the link. The March for Science is a protest against ignorance, a disdain and brushing aside of apolitical scientific endeavors that are meant to further benefit our society as a whole. In particular, in celebration of Earth Day, the march was also advocating for further government action to protect and enrich our environment where there has previously been inaction.
Number one, it was crowded! I never heard a final number of how many people were there, but I know it was more than forty thousand (which pales in comparison to the woman's march, but who cares?).
My reasons for participating were not wholly because I find the current administration as "against science," but mainly as a way to protest ignorance as a whole. I realize more and more that what I am most passionate about is educating people to think and investigate, and I don't have a background in education. However, I was taught how to think and know that too many people don't do enough of it. I seize the opportunities whenever I can to challenge the status quo of thought that is not grounded in reality. An example of the status quo I might challenge could be: the need to institute governmental health care (I am most closely aligned with either Libertarian or Classical Liberalism in political ideology, setting me apart from almost all U.S. politicians and voters; as a result, my views on government often come from both sides and I am in conversation with voters from both parties, trying to get them to see issues in a different light).
All in all it was a blast at the March for Science. It was raining and exhausting, but I was within a football field's distance away from Bill Nye, who was one of my childhood heroes. I was impressed with the turnout.
I do want to address the current issues I see with the current political administration. Again, let me emphasize, this is not a direct criticism of our chief executive but most of our government. The number of politicians that just won't own up to the facts is astounding http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/04/the-politics-of-climate/. Climate change is happening. We need to do something about it. Leaving it to the politicians will be a disaster.
Another revealing example of our current administration denying the right for science to vocalize its findings is that of the forensic sciences in criminal investigations (article that I have read here, from the Washington Post). The gist is a board of supervisors that have been in place and presided over forensic sciences, recently raised concern over certain forensic methods--methods which have been shown to be faulty--resulting in false convictions and just poor science. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has halted this presiding commission and squelched their funding.
I could give more examples, but hopefully I've made my point: we, a body of concerned public individuals--scientist and layman alike--will not stand for the denigration of science. More than any other methodology, science is the cornerstone of helping us unlock mysteries, explore the outer reaches of our galaxy, invent new machines and medicines, and probe the far reaches of the human mind. Science does not have favorites, put more credence to one science over another based only on seniority or perceived authority, drive conspiracies, favor a political party, shift based on popular opinion, or just decide how things should go based on a whim. Science is the continual pursuit for truth through evidence, by careful investigation, experimentation, peer review, and published findings. Anyone can do science and make discoveries, with or without the PHD (though recommended to avoid error). This is more than just a rise against a political system. It is a rise against seeking knowledge where it can't be found.