“Find a citizen opportunity that works for you. You don’t need a PhD to understand that science is essential for the health of our world and all of us that live here. And that’s great because you don’t need a PhD to be a citizen scientist and contribute to greater scientific understanding and fact-based decision-making,” Laura Minich Zitske, a wildlife biologist with Maine Audubon, told a crowd of about one hundred (100) people at Lincoln Park who gathered to support science in the face of the anti-science Trump administration.
“It has become too easy for politicians to ignore the work of scientists these days. With all of us taking part in the scientific process, become citizen scientists and spokespeople for science and fact-based policy-making, we can make sure our science is always front of mind for our leaders. Because politics do not belong in science. But science needs to be in political decision-making,” said Zitske.
Another speaker said in part: “Paleontology is a ‘gateway drug’ to other fields. What ‘gateway drug’ means is that if a kid discovers paleontology and gets into it, he might develop an interest in biology, or geology, or anatomy, or zoology, or any number of sciences that are related to paleontology. A child who learns about paleontology learns critical thinking, using available evidence to create a hypothesis and being able to accept criticism when new evidence proves that hypothesis is completely incorrect. Making decisions based on data. If these aren’t qualities you’d want in a politicians then I don’t know what is,” said Sam Holbrook, a student at Cheverus High School who jumped at the opportunity to speak at this year’s March for Science. (See above left photo of Sam.)
Maureen Drouin took on the timely issue of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. She outlined his unethical personal record since taking up his position at the EPA as well as his success in rolling back regulations that provide protection to our health and to our environment. “Who thinks Pruitt should resign?” she asked. Every hand in Lincoln Park shot up.
Nick Bennett, a staff scientist with the National Resources Council told those assembled under cloudy skies and in cool temperatures that “facts don’t speak for themselves. People need to speak for them. Get involved.”
The first annual March for Science was held on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. The March proceeded from city hall plaza to Congress Square Park where Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME.) gave a rousing speech to the almost 1,000 assembled there. This year the city recommended that the March for Science be held at Lincoln Park rather than Congress Square Park. Jennifer Fitz organized both Marches.
Please visit post herein dated April 22, 2017 for more background on the March for Science, Portland.