Science has served as the source of U.S. innovation for decades, but it has recently been under attack with funding for basic science in the United States at a 40-year low.
Twenty years ago I was arrested for occupying the office of Sen. Pete Domenici in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The senator and one-time segregationist Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond had threatened to defund the Environmental Protection Agency if it did not approve the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
The idea was that if you put nuclear waste in a big hole in the ground, it could be contained, sealed and isolated for thousands of years. Some studies showed it would work, but the EPA wanted additional studies. The senators wanted to move forward sending waste in trucks through our cities and then burying it deep in salt caverns in New Mexico, where some at the EPA worried it could leak. […]
This Earth Day, April 22, people are taking a stand to defend science and evidence-based policy with a March for Science. In addition to the march planned on the National Mall in Washington D.C., over 500 satellite marches are planned around the country and the world. In Iowa, marches are planned in Des Moines, Iowa City, Davenport, Independence, Tipton, Decorah, Dubuque, Mason City and Cedar Falls.
The idea for the march sprang up in the wake of the massive post-inauguration Women’s March and has gained support following actions from the new presidential administration and from state and federal legislators that undermine or ignore scientific knowledge. Over the past few months, the science march’s main Facebook page has gained over 500,000 likes and has been championed by Bill Nye (the Science Guy), who was named one of the honorary national co-chairs, and Jane Goodall. […]