On the Side of Science

Last weekend I stood with folks around the world who marched to defend the value of science. It is appalling and distressing and frankly dumb as hell that we are even in this position. That we need to leave our homes and incur travel expenses and stand around in the rain to remind our dope of a president and his imbecile administration that we will not idly wait while they delete government climate data, cut science budgets and deny research.

Currently, several key science-related positions sit vacant: White House Science Adviser, someone to run NASA, someone to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, someone to run the U.S. Geological Survey. We have no permanent Director at the CDC nor at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Three months into our new administration, public health positions that are crucial for responding to infectious disease pandemics, sit unoccupied — something experts warn could wipe out 30 million people in a year and should be taken just as seriously as other national security issues.

So here I am in 1978 with QUADRACON and what looks to be a wad of tobacco in my cheek. This little guy blew my mind when he rolled up to me at an amusement park and blurted out some standard greeting in a standard robotic voice and I thought HOLY SHIT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE NOW ISN’T IT.

I didn’t know a lot back then but I knew that science mattered. It gave me insight into the world and helped me make sense of everything; my body, my brain, how humans came to be, how we would die, how the farm landscape all around me was nurtured from seed to harvest to table and always, filling me with wonder and respect for the intricate balancing act it all required.

Take a minute today to deepen your resolve. It can be as simple as refining your news sources and subscribing to articles from science publications such as these which do a great job of keeping folks informed: Scientific American, Scientista: Women in STEM, New Scientist, Story Collider (Podcast), Science Magazine, and Nature.

And if you have the time and resources to do something bigger and bolder, then get on it. Lift yourself out of complacency. Do something to blow your own mind. There is no Planet B.

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