by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
This past Saturday, I donned by pink knitted brain hat and joined 40,000 other scientists and allies in Chicago’s Grant Park. This unprecedented gathering was to make a statement that science is important and should be publicly supported. The march was a protest against proposed budget cuts for the EPA, NIH, CDC as well as the dismissal of scientific facts by elected officials. The March was not partisan but it was political, sending a message that federal support for science should be unwavering.
To see so many people out to support science was exciting. I saw creative costumes such as an 8-foot long, articulated dinosaur skeleton, bees, and a plush microbe. The signs were equally creative: “Spock Kitty says supporting science highly illogical,” “Science is like magic, but real,” “Silence, not silence,” “There is no Planet B,” “Science is not a liberal conspiracy,” and “Science is patriotic” among others. Perhaps most surprising to me were those present who were members of the far-right religious communities with their signs that expressed Bible verses supporting the discovery of knowledge and even a placard listing clergy who were also scientists. Science does reach across the partisan aisles.
The March was surprisingly quiet. There was little chanting of slogans as we moved slowly down the park paths. I stood by a graduate student union group that were discussing their publication plans and hopes for finding funding for their doctoral projects. I overhead others talking about how they were grateful that research led to a cure for their cancer.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.