It's a stormy day in Nashville, but people all over the world are fully equipped to stand up for science today! Some of my scientist buddies have gone all the way to D.C. to fight for the cause (jealous). I was ready to march in Nashville today, but as many of you know, I've been fighting some health issues the last couple months and am gearing up for a 48 hour heart monitor here in the next few days (thank the heavens for scientists, amiright?). So I put on my shirt I saved for this occasion, and watched the live videos from all over while I cheered on my fellow science supporters.
Oh, and I started watching "Bill Nye Saves the World," which I highly encourage (the Bill Nye theme song revamped made my inner childhood geek squeal with joy!). Now that the giraffe cam is officially down, I guess I have to find other things to watch besides a pregnant giraffe pacing around her pen. I'm going through withdrawals! I miss Baby G already!
Anyway! I'm so proud of the turnout today. From what I've heard so far, everything has been peaceful and passionate. This is how things get done, and it doesn't have to consist of name-calling and belittlement. It doesn't have to include riots and vandalism. It isn't about forcing people to listen, but hoping we allow ourselves to be educated.
If you've ever had to take medication, gone camping, used a computer or cell phone (not sure how else you'd be reading this), looked at the stars, gotten surgery, been in a library, lived on planet Earth, or you're a living, breathing human being...then you experience the very essence of science daily. Why are librarians up in arms? For starters, the degree for a librarian is Library Science, and for good reason. We strive to be pillars for STEM education. We are the main providers of free computer science classes and usage. We teach children coding, how to take care of the planet, and how to track down obscure citations. Information is a science, and it's our job to bring you facts, because there is a difference between a Google search and research.
I'm also incredibly impressed with those who spoke at various marches today! Young aspiring astronauts, wildlife defenders, Dan Abrams, Bill Nye, National Farmers Union, Cool Effect, Nation of Makers, and many more! I was also happy to see one of my favorite authors who has brought a fresh series of STEM books to the children's narrative, Andrea Beaty! If you've read Rosie Revere, Engineer or Ada Twist, Scientist, then you've read Andrea Beaty. She is all about harvesting curiosity!
So why was this march necessary? If you've been paying attention (like, at all), President Trump has been very transparent about rolling back actions to fight climate change and other very important environmental provisions. To name a few, the Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Act, and Environmental Protection Agency. Coming from the land of the Great Lakes, I've already watched the downfall of politicians choosing not to keep our water clean. Yes, right here in America. And as I've made very clear through various forms of social media, he has also proposed to cut major funding for libraries, museums, and free public broadcasting that allows equal opportunity for education.
Now that the march is over, how do we keep moving forward?
First, join the conversation and Week of Action.
Second, participate in an open letter to the Trump administration to defend the role of science in politics.
Third, get in touch with your legislators and let your voice be heard.
Fourth, get a free Science Teach-In Toolkit to educate about the importance of science in your community. There are also several other ideas for getting involved on this page as well.
Fifth, get out and volunteer! Parks, museums, nature centers, libraries...all these places need help in preserving science and spreading knowledge. You can do your part by applying yourself to the cause and sharing the experience with others.
Just because we aren't in office, doesn't mean we can't make change. Honestly, I'd rather look back on my life and know I at least tried instead of sitting around doing absolutely nothing but holding an opinion.
Before we go, I have to share some of my favorite signs and images from the marches today:
And for the honorable mentions:
Bill Nye Saves the World Trailer: