Along with knitting and eating cake, one of my other loves is science. For this reason, I have been unable to resist writing about the March for Science marches that took place in cities across the world on Saturday 22nd April to coincide with Earth Day. Not only did scientists, academics and those involved in technology take part, but some celebrities were spotted taking part as well. Although I did not participate in one of the many marches that took place on Saturday, there are many reasons why those who did take part decided to.
For example, here in the UK, there is lots of talk and speculation about Brexit and as science is an international community no-one knows what affect this will have on the industry following Brexit. At the moment, whilst the UK is in the European Union (EU), there is free movement of our scientists with those in other EU countries; this however is not guaranteed to last. Not everyone realises just how often scientists move around which may include moving abroad. This can be due to where the best job is, or the fact that contracts are short term and only last for approximately four years at a time.
A second example is the denial of climate change, especially in America by President Trump and his administration. Although other people deny that climate change exists, President Trump is the more prominent person and influential. Despite all the evidence that is currently available from our hard working scientists, some people still seem to deny that this is happening, which will sadly only make matters worse for our lovely Earth. We must do everything that we can to save the planet, especially when there are more extreme weather events happening all the time.
Another reason people have decided to march for science is the cuts in funding that science is experiencing. Sadly, this is not unique to any country, but a worldwide problem. Like everything else, science requires funding to progress. It does have to be said that science is not cheap, but the leaps and bounds that can be made are phenomenal. For example, it was not that long ago that the human genome was sequenced. We also need to continue to think about our future and invest in it, such as drug resistant infections becoming more common and no new antibiotics being developed. Without any money being invested by any government or funding body, no science can happen at all, which is sad, not only for the scientists concerned but for everybody.
I have my fingers crossed that it will not be too difficult for scientists to continue their hard work in all shapes and forms. This might be by receiving grants in the form of money, or by being able to travel to the best country to do the research for them and for us.