April 22 – Earth Day March for Science
Today my husband and I made our way to Boston Common where we joined the movement to support science.
There is something that happens to you deep inside when you are part of a large group of people who share the same passion as you do.
It is hard to put into words that feeling, but that was what I felt today. It was a warm fuzzy feeling. And though it was cold and wet outside, inside I was warm, glowing, and proud to be standing among the men and women who were there for the same reason as we were.
And while I was happy yo be there, I could not help but wonder who let this happen?
When did half the population of the United States, a country that led the world in scientific research, stop thinking that science and scientific research was important?
Science is a way of knowing
But it is not the only way of knowing. I know that.
Many religions also can provide answers to life on this planet.
But we can rely on the explanations science gives because that explanation is based on empirical evidence. And this evidence is observed by many people and reviewed multiple times.
We now know why we have day and night, why we have snow in the winter and not in the summer, and why there are earthquakes, tsunamis, eclipses, and volcanic eruptions. We can explain why we get sick, control and even eliminate diseases, and have access to clean air and water that is vital for our survival. In addition to all this, we know so much more about our own environment. We know the causes that will damage it, and the solutions that will save it.
Yet, with all that we know about ourselves and the planet we live in, we do not know everything.
Be an informed consumer of science
My husband and I are both scientists. We both have doctoral degrees in chemistry, and we know how science works. But you do not have to be a scientists to be an informed consumer of science. All you need is to be just a little bit curious.
We are all consumers of science. We use products of scientific research everyday.
The food we eat, the medication we take, the cleaning products we use to clean ourselves and our homes, and the cosmetics we use to beautify ourselves are all products of scientific research.
Hence, being an informed consumer of science is knowing the difference between what is a product of science, which is often safe for human consumption, and what is a product of pseudoscience – i.e., knowing when you have been conned.
As we drove home this evening, wet, cold, and tired, we talked about what we hoped today would accomplish. My husband said that he hopes the president would see that there are people whose voices need to be heard, and he hopes that the president would change his policies to support EPA and fund scientific research.
And I agreed with him.
They say that you don’t miss something until it is no longer a part of your life.
If science goes away, and it is no longer a part of your life, then it may be too late for you to wish that you had done something sooner. So be a part of the solution, and help fund scientific research. We need science more than we need a wall.
Happy Earth Day from Boston