Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hodgepodge 175/365 - March for Science

It was no Washington, D.C., Women's March, but it was a rousing little display of citizenship and resistance: today's March for Science, Monterey-style.

We do have a large scientific community hereabouts: Moss Landing Marine Lab (of Cal State University), Hopkins Marine Station (Stanford), the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and of course the Monterey Bay Aquarium itself, all representing marine biology, oceanography, and related sciences; Fleet Numerical Meteorological and Oceanography Center and the Naval Postgraduate School, both administered by the Department of Defense (and probably safe from budget cuts to science because . . . DOD); U.S. Department of Agriculture field station (perhaps not safe from budget cuts to science because . . . who cares about safe food?); and no doubt many others that are smaller, like county offices overseeing water quality and pesticide management, never mind all the schoolteachers imparting science and the beauty of critical thinking to our youths, and what about physicians, whose expertise we depend on for our very health?

The cars rolling down Del Monte, many of them honking approval: they go because of science, and they don't pollute as much as they might because of science, and they are making us less and less reliant on fossil fuels because of science. So much of modern society—the world as we know it, as we rely on it to be—revolves around science. 

Also, as someone in the march behind me pointed out, we would not have superheroes without science. So there's that.

But most of all, the future of not just our species, but all life, is, in a way, dependent on human science. Because we have the intelligence and responsibility—I like to think—to keep expanding our knowledge and our ability to steer events in a proper direction. We are stewards of this planet, of this amazing habitat and life form writ large.

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