The March for Science witnessed droves of people come together from many backgrounds to show their distaste for the decisions that policy makers have been pushing through in recent years.
President Trump has proposed a tax plan that cuts and guts many important scientific agencies.
These kinds of laws and choices are traversing a treacherous path, which could have dangerous and far-reaching effects. When science is put on the backburner no one is the winner, and the problems we create become devastating for future generations.
We only made it to the moon because we made science a priority. We only began cleaning smog filled cities because science told us the errors of our ways.
Many marches across the nation recently seem to be about bringing awareness to a cause or to a group of people. Someone suffers from disenfranchisement, discrimination or some other form of oppression that is frankly unacceptable. Bringing this into the eye of the public can be a key step to initiating meaningful change.
This march was different than other marches. People across the nation know what science is and they know what causes the problem for scientific progression. The problems were voted into office. These problems affect every person in this country not just minorities or a select few.
Solutions to any problem, especially those involving legislature, are never easy and never fast. That can be scary and confusing to many people, but often times the system seems to be built that way on purpose.
However, yelling at people in the streets because they are ignorant to the situation does more harm than good.
There is a lot of good that can come from streets filled with passionate people. The civil rights movement is a wonderful example.
The topic of scientific awareness and misunderstanding is a different ball game, for example many people already know that carbon emissions on the rise, where it comes from and that government regulations are being rolled back on how much can be emitted. What they may not understand, however, is what that could mean to the climate, the future of our economy and our place on the global playing field in the coming years.
These kind of conversations are better held face to face, quietly, where people can discus rather than shouting down each other in a crowd. Presenting facts and informing citizens to be better educated on the problem is the best way to reach the masses. The type of education that can enact change through election and participating, because much of the solution that needs to be brought about will inevitably have to go through law and legislature.
These issues that are being marched on are deeply disturbing and vastly important. It worries me personally, as someone who looks forward to a future in these same scientific fields, that President Trump and his advisers are attacking these issues.
But in the end our time and effort needs to be focused and useful, because after all, people shouting in the streets just makes a lot of noise.
Spencer Colvin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org