Well hello there. It has been QUITE a long time since I’ve graced these bloggy filled pages. For the record (in case you can’t read the little auto-date stamp thing) it is the evening of Tuesday, the 24th of January, 2017. It’s been quite a day for science. If you’re reading this in our Hunger Games-like future world, then this may seem quaint by comparison, but we science-types were rather taken aback by a series of announcements by the new president. Right now, there are scientists all across this country, terrified that they are going to lose funding for their research, they will have to lay off staff, and that their research will be silenced. That’s right. Taxpayer funded research will be kept from taxpayers.
Earlier in the day I saw a report that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had received a gag order on all research, similar to the one the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Parks Service (NPS) had been given. That now doesn’t seem to be the case as far as the USDA is concerned. But this news is still troubling. It may very well come to fruition. Agriculture is an essential component of our society and is the primary revenue source in many states, including my own. As an entomologist, I know the absolute necessity of further investigations into arthropods. Whether it’s Zika, Lyme, Malaria, stored product pests, or the famous Monarch butterfly, this research is essential for the survival of our species. And our planet.
This post may not be very cohesive, as I am quite frustrated at the moment and a bit out of practice. I had hoped to be wrong about the next four years. I seriously did. I still want to be wrong. I want to see our economy improve. I want to see our planet safe and still able to support human life in fifty years. These things will not happen if science is denied and scientists silenced.
In response to these (and other) developments, a number of scientists on Reddit came up with an idea. That idea became a plan. And soon, that plan will become action. When Scientists March on Washington we will make our voices heard. Join the cause. Science is for everyone. Science is the future. Wiping off every mention of climate change will not make the reality of it go away.
Can’t make it? Want to do more? GREAT!!! Call your local representatives in your state legislatures. Then call the ones in DC. Be polite. Tell them your position. Do not be upset if you talk to a staffer. They WILL deliver your message. Make your voice heard. Use those first amendment rights.
Be loud. Be strong. And be heard.
**Here’s a cat…because the internet demands it.**