Why I Won’t March for Science

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Tomorrow is the Hawaii March for Science.  I’m not marching for science.  Instead I’ll be walking along scientists and their supporters.

A march is supposed to have a clear leader to guide the group in the right direction.  With a coordinated attack against me and the Alliance for Science planned, it only tells me that there is no leader to guide the public on science.  Instead, this march is one that has turned political where opposition is allowed to co-opt the evidence and anyone who stands by it.

I’m walking with scientists tomorrow to learn their stories and the work that they do.

I will walk with scientists who are trying to make farming more efficient and environmentally friendly.  One day, they will have crops that won’t need fertilizer or other inputs.  These crops may even grow on more land and have better nutrition for people.

I will walk with scientists who are studying the oceans and learning about how to balance our need for food and yet sustain a way of living for island people.  They will know what these creatures eat and see what needs to be done to keep their populations healthy.

I will walk with scientists working on improving the quality of life of those with debilitating illnesses and disability.  One day, someone with paraplegia may be able to walk again and lead a normal life or a person with ALS can no longer fear a slow decline in function.  There may be a scientist who is working on keeping dementia from robbing memories of a grandparent so that their grandchildren will no longer see them lose their loved one.

I will walk with scientists who are creating new ways to harness energy from the sun, oceans, and winds.  One day, we will no longer have to fill our tanks with gasoline and our homes can be powered with the elements around us.

I will walk with a scientist who studies our island’s indigenous plants and wildlife to help preserve it for generations to come.  Our great grandchildren will be able to see the ohia tree dotting the forests with its beautiful blossoms.

I will walk with scientists to learn about their work and passions.  I hope to see that these scientists will be the leaders of the march the help teach the public about the value of their work and why it needs to be leading the conversations around policies and innovation for the future.  I want to see these scientists inspiring others to join their fields to help make this world a better place and improve the lives of people globally.

Science is universal and the best thing we’ve got at understanding our world and knowing what is happening.  The scientists and their work must lead policymaking which is why this march was organized to begin with.  Until scientists become the lead and speak up for their work and the evidence, I will walk with them.  The day they lead us, I’ll march with them.

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