There Is No Planet B: The Case For The March For Science

Thousands across the globe will march this Saturday in the name of scientific research.

Able, a rhesus monkey, one of the first animals in space.

Scientific research is increasingly important every day, given the state of the planet and the rise of industry. Unfortunately, profit-amassing industry often advances faster than the research that supports its safety and sustainability. This must change. Science provides us with real evidence that we can use to make more informed decisions.

This Saturday, April 22nd (Earth Day), thousands will march in the name of science in Washington, D.C. and over additional 500 cities all over the globe. The March for Science was planned and publicized by the nonprofit Earth Day Network. You can register here to join in. As a part of the March’s mission statement:

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 based policies in the public interest.

You may be wondering what science has to do with politics. Although the March for Science website does not specifically name Trump, his policies and budget proposals have a lot of scientists worried for the future of research in America.

The National Institutes of Health, which funds disease research, will suffer an 18% budget cut, which equates to a loss of several billion dollars. The Trump Administration has also eliminated the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which funds high-risk, high-reward renewable energy investigations. Trump’s plans will take $250 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and $102 million from NASA.

The Trump Administration blueprint will also take $900 million from the Office of Science, and slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by more than a 30%. Global work by the Center for Disease Control is in jeopardy, and a further 50 programs, including the Clean Power Plan, Energy Star and the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program will be eliminated completely. This defunding will damage jobs, lives, and bring many current research projects (that have been carefully managed for years) to a halt.

Remember that pretty much all published scientific research is currently accessible through Google Scholar. Furthermore, and somewhat controversially, you can read studies for free in their entirety by unlocking them with Sci-Hub. It’s fun and useful to explore whatever topic might interest you or your health. For example, investigating a new medication before you start taking it, or checking up on your favorite food. Ted Talks are another great resource to learn about scientific advances and ideas.

The best way to ensure science will influence policy is to encourage people to appreciate and engage with science.

Brains are beautiful. Repost @comixfreek #wehavethebestwords #sciencemarch #standupforscience #protestsigns #brainsarebeautiful

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