Here’s why I’m Marching for Science on Saturday, April 22.
I’m angry at the silencing of scientists and their conclusions.
I’m furious that educators, who do their best to enlighten the populace and train students for the careers of the 21st century, must fight for respect.
I’m frustrated that the federal government treats scientific research as a low priority, starving agencies that tackle great questions (e.g., space exploration, artificial intelligence, marine biology) and protect Americans (e.g., weather forecasting, disease control, cybersecurity).
I’m frightened that the world hasn’t taken enough steps to curb carbon emissions and pollution, which have greatly contributed to the warming of the climate, the acidification of the oceans, and the risks and occurrences of extinction for plants and animals worldwide.
I’m scared that nuclear weapons, some of which are hundreds of times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, still exist, posing a great threat to the survival of humanity.
I’m alarmed that elected officials easily turn away from scientific facts and reasoning, and may proclaim the thoughts of special interests and pundits as “alternative facts.”
I’m disappointed at the lack of intelligent discussion of important scientific issues and discoveries in the media (especially cable news).
I’m horrified that preventable diseases, like measles, whooping cough, and polio, are coming back, due to irrational fears of vaccines and “chemicals.”
I’m irritated that we need to refresh ourselves upon the differences between “facts” and “opinions.”
I’m irate that many “part-time” adjunct professors across the country live in poverty and are denied health insurance from their employers.
I’m incensed that women and members of the LGBT community face discrimination, harassment, humiliation and other hardships in their classes and scientific careers.
I’m offended that our surrounding infrastructure is crumbling and baffled that other countries have better public transportation systems, internet connections and access to high-quality, low-cost health care than we do.
I’m upset that nothing is being done to stop generations of Americans from going into serious debt, just to pay for a college education.
I’m depressed that bland, expensive, standardized examinations determine the collegiate viability of high school students, rather than contributions to the community, dreams for the future and meaningful participation in extracurricular activities.
I’m puzzled that family planning and evidence-based sex education programs continue to have their funding cut, even when we know they lower abortion rates and teen pregnancies.
I’m concerned that Ada Lovelace, Rosalind Franklin and George Washington Carver are not as well-known as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Isaac Newton.
I’m agitated that we must fight for the inclusion and accuracy of topics like climate change and evolution in public school science textbooks.
I’m saddened that the Moon hasn’t had a visitor since 1972.
I'm dismayed that we are not doing enough to address major public health issues, like addiction, obesity and prescription drug overdoses.
I’m worried that people of science do not have enough say in governmental affairs.
I’m annoyed that meteorologists work so diligently for matters of public safety, only to become the butt of jokes when a forecast is later deemed inaccurate.
I’m disgusted that an outspoken climate change denier is now the administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency.
I’m disturbed that the website Breitbart features a commentary piece titled “When you hear a scientist talk about ‘peer review’ you should reach for your Browning.”
I speak for myself; there are many issues to cover, and I do not represent the rest of the science marchers. In any case, enough is enough. Quoting the movie Network, I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.
If you find any of the above to be troubling, join us. Speak against delusion, atrophy and nonsense. Speak truth to power. A win for truth is a win for all Americans.
Mike Madden is a Ph.D. student in atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University.