Rhode Island March for Science to take place April 22

The March for Science describes itself as a celebration of science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community

"The March for Science idea grew out of the Women's March, a mass protest that drew millions of demonstrators around the country in January, one day after Trump was sworn in as president", The Hill reported. Like many of those who will march, I believe in the power of objective, evidence-based scientific knowledge - knowledge that I would like to see inform public policy.

A second obvious point to make is that public investments in scientific research are worthwhile and can benefit all of society. This year, with all of those landmarks under attack by special interests and President Donald Trump pushing an anti-regulatory agenda, scientists have no choice but to fight back. On Saturday, April 22, the party will be held in conjunction with the "March for Science" protests happening all around the country.

The Globe authors say an "erosion of the public trust in science" brought about by industry lobbyists has resulted in "a widening rift between critical thinking and alternative facts". Spurred partly by the release of a White House budget proposal that included massive cuts to federal research funding, they decided to make a postconference detour to Washington, D.C., to join the April 22 March for Science.

The smell of worry coming off the scientific community in 2017 is as real as gasoline.

Some EPA staffers anticipated the change in administration and began storing federal data on climate change well before it could be taken off federal web sites and hidden away by the new administration. Just a year ago, despite persistent gridlock in Washington and a divisive presidential campaign, Congress approved an increase in the NIH budget with strong bipartisan support. One cut proposed by Trump targets the EPA and zeroes out an account dedicated to the cleanup of Puget Sound (which state funds also support). In 2016, for example, NIH distributed more than $23.5 billion in grants to support research on everything from cancer to Alzheimer's to mental health to blindness.

In the months and years prior to the 2016 election, Trump declared climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, but since taking office he has delivered mixed messages regarding his views on global warming. And Trump has continued to make comments expressing doubts, not backed by science, about the risks of vaccines. "Ignoring scientific facts, theories and controversies is extraordinarily risky". "It is the responsibility of scientists to show that good science is an inextricable thread in the fabric of good governance".

"Facts have been questioned", Krause said, referring to statements Trump administration officials have made regarding scientific conclusions about climate change.

State Sens. Steve Halloran and Steve Erdman discussed climate change on April 8 in Hastings.

We need to stand up for science at the March for Science on Saturday in Trenton and Washington. These two places are magical to the people who live there, economically important to the nation as a whole, and leading the advance of coastal environmental science.

Prof. Rebecca Nelson, plant pathology, plans to attend the march to express her discontent with the budget cuts due to the repercussions it would have for scientific research in the future. "I am not quite sure what would impact the current president, but I guarantee that a march will not".

And it should not be a one-off event. We've seen it in Canada, with a decade of cuts to research funding and scientific programs, muzzling of government scientists and rejection of evidence regarding issues such as climate change.



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