Defending the role of science on Earth Day

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Next month, people across the country will be demonstrating their support for science.

Organisers of the rally are calling for evidence-based policies to be implemented by politicians, but while they insist the march "isn't about any one politician - this is about science and policy, scientists and science supporters", the genesis of the campaign is rooted in the United States administration's stance toward science. They stressed the importance of science in fulfilling the University's mission to create successful scholars and emphasized the necessity of advocating for science.

"Budget cuts, disappearing data sets, censorship of researchers, and threats to dismantle necessary governmental agencies harm us all, putting our climate, health, food, environment, and jobs at risk".

Many of us had attended the women's march in L.A. or Washington or elsewhere; others said that they wanted to participate but couldn't take the time to travel.

"To address the many challenges faced nationally and globally, the research process needs sustained support", Nelson said. "With all the cuts that are being proposed from NASA to the Department of Energy", he told KQED, "I feel like I need to be a part of this and make a difference". From the beginnings of the land grant university system, which we celebrate with the 125th anniversary of the University of Rhode Island this year, our government has promoted science in agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, defense and many other areas that lead to progress in our nation.

All of these actions ignore that scientific research is a necessary government-backed activity.

Many scientists prefer to work quietly, letting their research speak for itself.

Instead, thousands will be donning lab coats and hitting the streets in an worldwide demonstration to celebrate the scientific community in the USA and defend its role in society.

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"The number one thing, at least for me, is to stay aware of what's going on", Thornton said. "To say "I don't believe in climate change" is to say 'I don't believe in the scientific method, ' and 'I don't believe in evidence to support hypotheses, ' and that is a more fundamental problem, '" he added.

Scientists are rightly alarmed as well by the new president's budget proposals. She said she is concerned that federal policies on issues like science should be guided by scientific research.

When Earth Day began in 1970, there was no U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act.

Peggy La Cerra, an evolutionary neuroscientist living in Ojai, found she could not stay silent this spring in the face of a new administration in Washington, D.C., that plans to drastically scale back the role of science in government. For instance, only four percent of the world's engineering degrees are earned in the USA, as opposed to 56 percent in Asia and 17 percent in Europe. Although admitting that the march is political, she is adamant that it is entirely non-partisan.

"Or just wear your comfortable "I'm ready to be politically active and send a message about the need for science in policy" outfit". "I had hoped that we would instigate some of that discussion, and I think to a degree we have".

"We'd like to appeal to congressmen from all political parties", he said.

And March for Science Merced will run from 10 to noon, beginning at Court House Square Park, West 21st Street between M and O streets. Instead, scientists hope that politicians and the public at large will take note of the importance of scientific findings and its methodologies in solving numerous issues we face today. He's a passionate protestor against climate change, and the ideal speaker to lead the pre-March for Science festivities.

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