I manage Restore Mass Ave, an environmental non profit that adds urban forest​ in Washington DC. Debthink is my personal site for posting about science policy, climate and other topics, with info about my books.
Main | Science progresses. But the Nobel prizes? »

Science March for Big Ideas and Support

        American science faces a crisis as grim as this rainy morning of the March for Science, when I write this.

       Shortly I'll set out to metro or walk down to the National Mall. I'll join thousands from around the US and 600 foreign cities who will march. The Big Idea is that doing science, and the products of science, are "one of the characteristics that really make us human," as John Holdren said to an overflow crowd at AAAS last night. (Holdren served as science advisor to President Obama for eight years.)

      Abroad, science marchers are posting that evidence-based policy and research are threatened too.  Extremist politics that suppress science and discourage inquiry have spread beyond the US like a pandemic. The global demonstrations are an intervention trying to beat back the infection and contain the outbreak.

     But besides principles and better policy, today, here, there's no doubt that people will be demonstrating for support. Thousands of researchers in universities and government stand to lose their jobs if the Trump Administration's proposed FY 18 budget becomes reality. (Even for the current year, FY 17, the Administration wants to cut civilian science.) According to AAAS federal R&D budget analysts, the proposed FY 18 cuts are deeper than proposed by any administration since AAAS began tracking in 1976. Here's the AAAS March 16 summary based on the "skinny" outline the Administration proposed.

       The Administration is supposed to release more budget detail in the next few weeks. Maybe this time it will mention the Natonal Science Foundation? 

       More from today @debthink.

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