Three months ago almost to the day, the Women’s March was a bright light of energy in the midst of stormy despair. And now, I feel similar to how I felt then–enlivened and made more hopeful at the sights and sounds of thousands marching for a better world.
I’m not a scientist. However, I do believe in critical inquiry, and I do believe in the pursuit of knowledge. In point of fact, these are the things to which I dedicate much of my life, even if such work resides in a different, more humanistic sphere. I believe in expertise, and I believe in government funding for the sciences (as well as for the arts). Because history is marked by those societies that invested in, and benefited from, science and artistry, and because these are the things which make us most human, which call to our highest selves. The pursuit of beauty and truth–as Keats put it, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”–are both useful and hold inherent good.
I am so glad to see the crowds from all around the world filter through my social media and the news. Science shouldn’t have to be overtly political, but when one party continues to deny the need for action in response to the greatest threat to mankind in our history, climate change, and when that same party elevates to higher office those who have spent their lives trying to tear down the departments they have been tasked with leading, and when that same party continues to disrespect or disregard scientific evidence in regard to fracking, homosexuality, and health care, we have no choice but to break our silence.
For someone whose silence rarely remains unbroken for long, it is rejuvenating to see the crowds of people across the world who are hoping for something more, hoping for something better.