Mark your calendars: Science March Apr 22nd

MARK YOUR CALENDARS. On April 22, we will walk out of our labs and into the streets.

https://www.marchforscience.com/

We are scientists and science enthusiasts. We come from all races, all religions, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all political perspectives, and all nationalities. Our diversity is our greatest strength: a wealth of opinions, perspectives, and ideas is critical for the scientific process. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We all recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.

Science is often an arduous process, but it is also thrilling. A universal human curiosity and dogged persistence is the greatest hope for the future. This movement cannot and will not end with a march. Our plans for policy change and community outreach will start with marches worldwide and a teach-in at the National Mall, but it is imperative that we continue to celebrate and defend science at all levels – from local schools to federal agencies – throughout the world.

Is Science is making a comeback?!

We’ve posted frequently about the decline in public support for science over the past several years. One reason for this decline is that the general public just doesn’t understand science or finds it boring (let’s be real, we’ve all have that dreadful chemistry/physics/biology/etc professor). Another reason is due to the current trend of dismissing facts and evidence-based decision making.

The scientific community has been trying to combat this by working to improve science communication in many ways. And seems like some of this hard work has paid off? Is Science (slowly beginning to) making a comeback with the general public?! Here are THREE examples why I think science is on the up and up:

Bill Nye is BACK! Bill Nye, our favorite science guy (tied with Neil deGrasse Tyson), is coming back with a Netflix series called Bill Nye Saves the World. I CANNOT WAIT. This series will feature celebrities and highlight some important topics in science today (climate change, health, etc). From what I can tell, it seems like “Bill Nye the Science Guy” but made for adults. This type of public-oriented science show is EXACTLY what science needs. A way to inspire and demonstrate cool science while also informing about the principles of how research is done and how scientists draw conclusions.

Magic School Bus is ALSO back! And thankgawd. The new series “The Magic School Bus: Rides Again” will debut on Netflix later this year. This was absolutely my favorite show as a little kid, and it’s incredibly important that the future generation receives a strong foundation in science. As a plus, our favorite SNL star Kate McKinnon will voice Mrs. Frizzle.

Dan Rather and the Science Communication Lab. I love it when non-scientists in positions of fame advocate for science. Dan Rather is doing just that. He is collaborating with iBiology to bring science to the general public. In his statement:

I have a deep curiosity about the mysteries of life, and an unwavering respect for the women and men expanding the horizons of knowledge, and I am collaborating with a nonprofit science communication group called IBiology to extend their mission from the professional science community to you, the general public. We’re calling this effort the Science Communication Lab.

We will be announcing future projects soon, including a feature-length documentary on which we have just begun production. For all the importance of politics these days, we would do well to remember that there is a larger world that can fill us with wonder and awe.

I am really looking forward to all three of these efforts to expand science to the general public!

Follow @AltNatParkSer on Twitter- response to the EPA gag order #resist

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow @AltNatParkSer on twitter: The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised! Come for rugged scenery, fossil beds, 89 million acres of landscape.

This account is in response to a gag order placed by Trump banning agencies like the EPA from using twitter accounts or other forms of media to inform reporters of news. While Trump can prevent the official agency accounts from being in use, he cannot prevent personal twitter accounts from being used.

 

 

AAAS helps us with the transition

AAAS has a nice website detailing information on the president-elect’s transition into the White house:

The 45th President of the United States will confront a broad range of global challenges, including addressing climate change, securing our energy future, and sustaining investments in scientific research efforts. AAAS has created this website to display information on the President-elect’s Transition and Cabinet appointments; white papers, transition statements, and letters from the scientific community; and news and other resources. It will be updated throughout the transition, inauguration, and the New Administration’s First 100 Days.

CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE. But be warned, there’s not a lot of promise for the future of science.

The Chan-Zuckerberg initiative: end all disease by 2100 #YAAAAS

THIS IS AWESOME! Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have launched the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative where they will be giving $3 billion to prevent, cure, or manage ALL disease by the end of this century. Their mission:

We want every child to grow up in a better world. Our hopes for the future center on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality. We’ll focus first on personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities. We will make long-term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years because our greatest challenges require time to solve.

It is a beautiful thing when very wealthy people spend their money on scientific research and innovation. YAAAAAS.

Baracktrema Obamai- new parasite named after the president #LifeGoals

I guess when you become president, you get the honor of having a newly discovered organism named after you. Introducing Baracktrema Obamai, a newly discovered freshwater parasitic flatworm that is found in Malaysian turtles. The full discovery is published in the Journal of Parasitology. Enjoy!