Why You Should Care About The March For Science

Why You Should Care About The March For Science

Scientists are now not allowed to share research; in response, they plan the March for Science.

Regardless of what we may believe about President Trump, the recent actions on behalf of him and his administration regarding censorship and restriction of scientists in communicating their findings with the public should raise concern.

White House Removed Search Results Related To Climate Change

After President Trump's inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, the official White House website has removed any search results on their website related to climate change and environmentalism and have indicated for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do the same. As can be seen, the only result is not related to climate change.

However, the EPA still maintains these topics on the website. Try it yourself and see what you find. It is hard to say what other topics have been deleted from the website, but so far search results directly related to race issues and LGBTQ are no longer available.

Significant Reductions To Science Budget

President Trump's administration plans $10.5 trillion of federal budget saving over the next ten years. This includes major cuts to various agencies, including the departments of Energy, Commerce, Transportation, Justice, and State. These will likely see significant budget cuts and even program eliminations.

According to a report by New York Magazine:

"At the Department of Justice, the plan would eliminate programs that aim to prevent violence against women, encourage community-oriented policing, and provide legal aid to the indigent. It would also drastically reduce funding the DOJ’s Civil Rights and Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

At the Energy Department, the plan would eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Office of Fossil Energy, which develops technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

Two of the top State Department programs focused on climate-change prevention are marked for elimination.
The Minority Business Development Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities are all headed for the scrap heap. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized."

The new budget for Department of Energy will be downsized to the levels of 2008, resulting in cuts to many important programs and scientific advances. Also, NASA's incredible climate change research department will likely be eliminated.

National Science Agencies "Silenced"

An internal department-wide email from Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for Agricultural Research Service (ARS), published on BuzzFeed read, “Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content." After much criticism from the public and scientific community, the ban was lifted.

Similar instructions have been released to many other federal research institutions in the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent orders not to send “any correspondence to public officials”. In turn, an email to directors of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides more details on these regulations. President Trump has stopped Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contracts and grant funding.

The CDC recently canceled a February conference regarding the health effect of climate change. The Department of Transportation and National Park Services sent out similar instructions.

The ARS will adhere to United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) instruction for scientists to seek approval of top officials when answering questions involving "legislation, budgets, policy issues and regulation."

"Although still allowed to publish in scientific journals, any reference to their work in any other form would have been banned. News releases, photographs, infographics, fact sheets, and any social media content on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere would be prohibited in any form, according to the memos."
- Robin Andrews

Online Science "Resistance"

In light of these events, "rogue" versions of Twitter accounts of these major research institutions have been started by their scientists. The purpose of these accounts is to publish important scientific material to the public which is being "censored" and create awareness of the existing problem.

The movement apparently started with a rogue Badlands National Park Twitter. This was been followed by the creation of the AltUSNatParkService Twitter.

Other accounts include: AltYosemiteNPS, AltYellowstoneNatPar, AltUSForestService, AltBadlandsNatPark, Resistance_NASA, RogueNASA, RogueNOAA , altUSEPA , among many others.

For more of these verified accounts please click here.

March For Science

All of these events, and maybe more, have lead scientist and science-enthusiast to protest these regulations. The public should have access to scientific information that has a direct impact on their lives.

A group on Reddit started a discussion of the subject that caught like wildfire among professors, students, researchers, artists, scientists, and people passionate about science.

Thus, a large number of America's scientists have banded together to organize the March For Science. Within a few days, the Facebook and Twitter handles have reached 166,044 likes and over 185,000 followers, respectively.

This is not the only effort made along these lines. Climate Central states that librarians and researchers are storing climate data on federal websites and scientists have led peaceful protests in San Fransisco.

If interested, you can sign up for updates of to join the march at http://www.scientistsmarchonwashington.com/

"If someone's political stance requires preventing scientists from informing you about your own planet, that's not politics, it's oppression."
- Katie Mack, astrophysicist

Cover Image Credit: SFGate

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Why Anti-Abortion Laws Are Unconstitutional And God Does Not Support Them

Former pro-life supporter's take on choice.


As a former pro-life woman raised in a conservative Southern Baptist home, I am sad and enraged at the recent anti-abortion bills and laws that have been passed.

Not only are these laws unconstitutional, but many supporters of anti-abortion legislation justify their beliefs in the name God.

Over the past year, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Utah, Iowa, and Missouri have all passed anti-abortion legislation and Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, and Texas are all currently working to pass anti-abortion laws.

These attempts at limiting the freedoms of American women are a direct attack against the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and the United States Constitution.

The Supreme Court ruled that Americans' right to privacy included the right of a woman to decide whether to have children and the right of a woman and her doctor to make that decision without state interference. Many anti-abortion politicians are hoping this new legislation will overturn Roe v. Wade.

Many politicians and supporters of anti-abortion legislation justify their beliefs in the name of their religion.

In fact, Alabama Governor Ivey signed the law saying it "stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious, that every life is a sacred gift from God."

As many of us know, the United States Constitution calls for a separation of church and state. This statement made by Governor Ivey sure sounds like religion was a big part of his decision.

Limited access to birth control, abortion, and contraceptives are not new concepts. Religious institutions have supported limited access because they believe sex outside of marriage is wrong.

There is nothing wrong with this belief, but there is something wrong with projecting these personal and religious beliefs onto others--especially when it takes away their right to personal freedom.

As a former pro-life believer, I never truly thought of the millions of women affected by unwanted pregnancies. I was only focused on what God would want me to think about the issue.

The Bible never directly addresses the issue of abortion; however, it does say "Thou shalt not kill." The Bible also includes many murders committed in the name of God and many more contradictions throughout the entire scripture.

According to the Bible, life begins at birth--when a baby draws its first breath.

The bible defines life as "breath" in several significant passages, including the story of Adam's creation in Genesis 2:7, when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth. So now that we've cleared up when life begins, abortion is a fundamental, Constitutional right.

Throughout history, women have been patronized and forced into submission by misogynistic men who believe they have God's given right to make decisions that concern women.

This is downright wrong! We are living in a new world where women are no longer owned by their guardians--a world where women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies.

Women are inherently responsible for any baby they choose to bring into this world, men are not. Therefore, men have no right to speak on behalf of what decisions women legally have the right to make.

You may disagree with abortion, and that's OK. No one is forcing you to get one. But yes, I deserve to have the right to get any medical procedure done if I believe that's the best thing for myself. God believes in freedom of choice and so should you.

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