March for Science: protesting Republican ignorance

Nationwide protests planned on Earth Day

International scientists are pondering boycotts of conferences held in America due to the increasingly hostile anti-intellectual climate fulminating across the country.

Tightened immigration policies hinder America’s ability to attract global talent, shrinking the pool of contributions to homegrown research and innovation 

Adding to that list of grievances is Trump’s proposed cuts to scientific research that have further sparked fears of a “brain drain” from the United States. The cuts primarily target medical and environmental research, two areas of critical importance to an American population that includes a cohort of ageing baby boomers in need of medical treatments, as well as a younger cohort of millennials grappling with the consequences of a heating planet. As $54 billion is cut from vital programs under the purview of the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, an additional $54 billion is tentatively being granted instead to the military. This is an especially curious choice, given the United States already spends the most money in the world on military expenditures, and more than the next seven top spenders combined. In an era of without conventional warfare, and marked by terrorism, cyber attacks and drone strikes, it seems the military could be getting leaner rather than fatter – after all, a tank or fighter jet costs far more than even the most sophisticated computer or drone. All of this points to a Republican regime that is not only out of touch with American voters, but the world as well. Marching for science on April 22 may not cure Republicans of their delusions, but it could put wind in the sails of a sensible agenda that respects science, rather than fights it.

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