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The Scientist March In Planning Against the Chump

Not sure how big this one may be, unless they join with other groups – as the number of actual scientists is fairly small. But would love to see 3 million on the mall, so here is hoping lots and lots of other folks come out.

It seems in this case, the scientists and doctors…

Are, really mad.

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Scientists are planning the next big Washington march

A group of researchers have proposed a March for Science, but it won’t be the first time scientists have protested

Last weekend, a massive milieu of women in pink hats descended on Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March. The next big protest being planned for the nation’s capital could involve a sea of lab coats (and likely a few pink hats as well).

A group of researchers have proposed a March for Science. What started as a discussion on Reddit has quickly blossomed into a movement.

Organizers started a private Facebook group and Twitter account on Monday. By Wednesday afternoon, the former boasted more than 300,000 members and the latter had nearly 55,000 followers. A public Facebook page had more than 11,000 likes just five hours after going online. The explosion of support caught organizers off guard, but they’re meeting this weekend to discuss details about the date and full mission statement.

The march would be the latest in a string of actions taken by scientists following Donald Trump’s election and his inauguration as president. His administration has been widely viewed as hostile to science — from the transition period through hearings for his cabinet nominees through silencing key federal science agencies and freezing grants.

“This is not a partisan issue. People from all parts of the political spectrum should be alarmed by these efforts to deny scientific progress,” Caroline Weinberg, a medical researcher who is helping organize the march, said. “Scientific research moves us forward and we should not allow asinine policies to thwart it.”

Researchers have been getting more vocal about the value of science and evidence-based policymaking in recent months. Earth scientists took to the streets in San Francisco last December during the annual American Geophysical Union meeting. Researchers and librarians are also racing to save climate data from federal websites. And more recently, scientists flooded Twitter during Friday’s inauguration with updates about how science impacts everyday people.

The March for Science represents a next step, with a groundswell of support behind it and the potential to dwarf the December San Francisco rally of a few hundred earth science researchers. While details are forthcoming, Weinberg underscored that scientists and science lovers of all disciplines and backgrounds will be welcome.

“Diversity in science, both in the researchers who participate and the topics we are focused on, is a critically neglected area,” she said. “We fully intend to emphasize diversity in both the planning of and mission statement for this march.”

Whatever becomes of the march, it won’t be the first time scientists have turned out to protest what they view as federal policies ungrounded in science. The 2014 People’s Climate March turned out an estimated 310,000 people in New York, including a large number of climate scientists.

Naomi Oreskes, a science historian at Harvard, said that looking further into the past reveals another telling example of scientists organizing.

“It is the scientists who mobilized against the arms race in the late 1950s and 1960s,” she said. “So that tells you how scientists feel now. This is an existential threat.”

 

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Women in the STEM Disciplines

As a guy who has a daughter pursuing advanced degrees in one of the Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) fields, and having spent most of my professional career in Hi-Tech – I can appreciate this one from a male Mechanical Engineering student, Jared Mauldin, at Eastern Washington University, which was published in the school paper…

 

Black females (as well as black males) also face the additional burden of race, and low expectations, in terms of academic performance and ability. Good to see recognition of some of this.

 

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Military and Universities Team to Solve Honeybee Mystery

This one wouldn’t get much press in the hyperactive MSM as it’s consequences aren’t easy, and don’t involve political foible. For the past 6-10 years the Honeybee population around the world has been dying off…

Sounds bad… but catastrophic?

Since about 80% of the pollination of crops is done by Honeybees – you betcha. The reduction in numbers of Honeybees means a massive reduction in the production of food per acre…

Meaning if the Honeybees die off… So do we humans in fairly short order.

Another mystery is the disappearance of small snakes, which one of my contributors, Nanakwame brought up a while back. The environmental impact of this isn’t understood yet. In the US, it seems that the common green and garter snakes have all but disappeared in some areas. I live on a lake, and this has resulted in an explosion of the frog population. I also found several dead baby Corn Snakes in the Spring – which is unusual. They are very good at keeping the rodent population down. I have no idea what is killing them – and I severely limit the type and amount of chemicals used on the property to protect the lake.

To those who go “ewwwwe” – it’s a simple fact that if you live on freshwater in the Southern half of the US – you have snakes nearby, whether you see them or not. Most are neither poisonous or harmful, and keep the insect and small rodent populations in check. Green Snakes eat insects, Garters eat frogs, and Corn Snakes eat rats and mice.

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees?

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana inthe online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.

Liaisons between the military and academia are nothing new, of course. World War II, perhaps the most profound example, ended in an atomic strike on Japan in 1945 largely on the shoulders of scientist-soldiers in the Manhattan Project. And a group of scientists led by Jerry Bromenshenk of the University of Montana in Missoula has researched bee-related applications for the military in the past — developing, for example, a way to use honeybees in detecting land mines.

But researchers on both sides say that colony collapse may be the first time that the defense machinery of the post-Sept. 11 Homeland Security Department and academia have teamed up to address a problem that both sides say they might never have solved on their own.

“Together we could look at things nobody else was looking at,” said Colin Henderson, an associate professor at the University of Montana’s College of Technology and a member of Dr. Bromenshenk’s “Bee Alert” team.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2010 in News

 

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Scientifically Speaking

Scientifically speaking…

Scientists don’t become conservatives.

That’s right – the smartest folks among us don’t  lean that way according to a new PEW Report

Only six percent of America’s scientists identify themselves as Republicans; fifty-five percent call themselves Democrats. By comparison, 23 percent of the overall public considers itself Republican, while 35 percent say they’re Democrats.

Nine percent of scientists said they were “conservative” while 52 percent described themselves as “liberal,” and 14 percent “very liberal.” The corresponding figures for the general public were 37, 20 and 5 percent.”

Confirms what BTX3 has been saying all along – You gotta be stupid to be a conservative. Why? After 8 years of the “Stupid President” who serially screwed everything in the country including scientific research and the economy – Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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