March on for science
Science provides the framework for modern civilization, although it is often taken for granted, without it our world would resemble that of the Medieval era at best. Most people think of science as cool gadgets and technological advances, but it reaches far deeper than that.
Without research, development and experimentation, the world would not have the health advances that have allowed the average life expectancy of 35 to double in the span of 150 years, according to ourworldindata.org.
The cars, cellphones, computers and homes everyone relies upon on a daily basis would just be fanatic pipe dreams without the investment in and acceptance of science.
While I make no claim to being a scientist myself, I have the utmost respect for those who devote themselves to the variety of scientific fields that keep the world operating and advancing, as it has my whole life.
People like to claim how amazing science is, how technology is so great and that it has come so far, but when scientific evidence surfaces that is inconvenient, people often dismiss and ridicule the discovery. What is important and great about science is that it has nothing to do with conviction, beliefs or feelings, and everything to do with observable, provable fact. Even a scientist with a well-researched and thought-out hypothesis must accept the truth if proven wrong.
Because of recent administrative orders, scientific researchers from around the globe have found it difficult to attend meetings with colleagues in the scientific community.
According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, more than 150 scientific societies around the world have sent letters to President Donald Trump in hopes to counter the recent travel bans that were attempted.
In additional assertations, the denial of the impact of human activity on climate change have heighted tensions between the scientific community and politicians, mainly within the Republican party, who deny that fact.
Members of global scientific communities have organized a “March for Science” on April 22, which is also Earth Day. According to marchforscience.com, “The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence base policies in the public interest.”
The most prominent march will take place in Washington, D.C., but there are five marches that take place here in Indiana. Indianapolis, Evansville, South Bend, Terre Haute and Lafayette all will host their own marches on April 22.
These marches are important to show unity within the scientific community, which can benefit the public as a whole. For example, flat-Earth theory, denial of climate change and anti-vaccination movements grow more prevalent in the U.S. combating such ideas with facts, research and experimentation become more imperative.
The point is to take away irrational and emotion-based legislation that has become commonplace in the U.S. political system.
Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson has stated why having an informed public that is scientifically literate, including those who are not scientists themselves, is so important.
“Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers—poets, actors, journalists—they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate,” Tyson said. “They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don’t fight science, and they don’t fight technology.”
While not all science has benefited humankind or been ethical, the quality of human life and society overall have been improved drastically because of it. It doesn’t take being a scientist to support science, because it is something that effects us all. Those who hold public office need to understand the importance of advocating for and understanding science.