March for Science

These days there seem to be relentless marches.  Stepping to a personal cadence where our opinions are espoused, resonate, and are heard.  Words are important.  Language gives humanity a voice.  However, words without action make potential listeners deaf.

Are we simply talking about wanting change or are we actually being the agents through which change might actually occur?

Faith without works is dead.  Words without action are merely letter puzzles.  We are known we are Christians by our love.  We are known we are scientists by our curiosity and innovation.

If you go to the website to register for the Science March, you learn what the march most definitely is not, a march for science.  Rather, it is another political march.  It is a rant for anti-Trump mentality.

[aside:  I am not a Trump supporter.  I find the man to be vile and vulgar.  He is not a man I admire.  If he puts orders for genocide or some other atrocity, I will make every effort to stop him by joining the choirs.  However, he hasn’t destroyed our country yet.  He has really just been that, a man of words with very little action.  I don’t see him as a threat just yet.]

The reason I’m upset is because we are labeling this march something it is not.  It is more a march for views on immigration, sexual liberty, etc.  This is not really a march for the pursuit of truth, the quest to innovate, discover, or progress.  It is yet another emotionally charged political march.  I’m not saying there is anything inherently wrong with wanting to march for these other causes, but I am upset when we claim it is a march for science when it is not.

My main reason is this:  Why didn’t we march when our space program was shut down under the Obama administration?  If we are truly indifferent to political climates and are really marching in the name of science, you would have heard an outcry from the scientific community when this research, which holds so much promise and possibility,  was closed down.  You didn’t see the streets of Washington being swarmed then.

As such, this appears to me to be less about scientific promotion and more about political ideologies.  The beautiful thing about science and math are that they leave little room for emotional outbursts.  Science and math are really pure logic.  They are quests to discover the unknown, to make sense of the amazing creation God has given us.  Science and math are mere tools to make sense of the world, to try and comprehend the incomprehensible, at least the truly incomprehensible this side of heaven.

I’m an advocate for scientific literacy and understanding.  I would like my daughters to have a thirst for STEM as I do.  I want people to appreciate the complexities of scientific and mathematical pursuits and innovations.  As co-workers and friends have said, scientists are worried about science and so most aren’t going to march.  We will be pre-occupied in the lab, putting our hands to mortars and pestles, grinding away to make the world a better place.  We will let our innovations speak because without evidence or inquiry there won’t be a real voice in the scientific community.  Marching is important, but march into the lab and continue doing the work the world needs you to do rather than complain.  If you want to see change, be the change.  Step off soap boxes. [I’m learning how to do this too.  I’m a hypocrite because I’m typing this opinion blog post when I should be adding acid to pharmaceutical samples to quantify metals.]

I have to head back to the lab now and hopefully you will too.  It is in research and its application that we will add stock to our hypotheses, conjectures, and ideas.  Science doesn’t really care if you are black, white, asexual, homosexual, transsexual, or even alien. Can you get the job done?  Can you work to figure out the puzzles hidden in the world? Science just wants to pursue the quest for the unknown, to tinker and discover.  Scientists are simply working towards innovation, uncovering the unknown to help make the world a better place, one find after another.  Thus, let us go forth and do just that.  Let us produce data to substantiate claims.  Let us have a voice by working towards the physical evidence to defend our opinions and innovations.

(FYI, I understand how difficult it is to be heard sometimes.  I am a female in a male saturated field.  However, I also know that I won’t be respected for merely complaining or talking as I’m often inclined to do.  I will be held in higher regard if I can produce results, if I can make processes more efficient or accurate.  The scientific community respects results and evidence more than just theories or voices.)

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2 Replies to “March for Science”

  1. Thanks for your perspective! I really respect your views on science since I know you are talking from first hand experience. The communication scientist in me (we are technically social scientists, I know it’s soft science, but still) wonders about the impact of words without action. I agree with you that when actions follow words, it’s very powerful, but I also think words have great power on their own, even if there is no direct action afterward. Sometimes the words inspire others to action. Sometimes they raise much-needed awareness of important issues. Sometimes words are all we’re capable of giving, when there are barriers to acting. I have great faith in words, as you can tell. And in my opinion, even if it’s true that the new president is a man of words and not actions, he can still very much be a threat to our country, and I think he is. Anyway, I haven’t looked into the March for Science much yet, so I can’t really speak to that, other than to say, you’re right if they are calling it a March for Science then it should be about science.

    1. Thanks Jamie for your input. It is important for me to remember that words help raise awareness. I love words and language too, as you know. Since I am a poet, I know the importance of words. Reading through this, I know that might not have been apparent. Thanks for making me cautious/more aware of that.

      I don’t like Trump. I guess he could be a threat to our country and we have to tread carefully with him in presidency.

      I’m mainly curious why there weren’t marches when our space program was shut down. It is more of, “sure, you can march, but don’t call something a march for this issue when it is really a march for that issue” type deal. I feel that with this march that it is less about science than it is being marketed as.

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