Thursday, April 27, 2017

Last Pictures from the March

Here information on how the March for Science got started:
Three months ago, a member of the social-network website Reddit saw the headline for this Jan. 20 Vice article: “All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website.” That did not sit well with Reddit user Beaverteeth92, who commented, “There needs to be a Scientists' March on Washington.”

Jonathan Berman, a University of Texas Health Science Center postdoctoral fellow, spotted the comment and created a Facebook page, The Washington Post reported in January. As the Facebook page grew — it now has more than 530,000 likes — the March for Science was born. Marches will take place on Saturday in Washington and hundreds of other cities.

I think this sums up pretty well just how unusual this march was:
“The march is pretty unprecedented in terms of the scale and breadth of the scientific community that’s involved, and it does recall Physicians for Social Responsibility and various scientific groups against nuclear war in the Reagan era, that’s I think the most recent precedent,” said Robert Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford University. “But this is even broader in the sense that there’s a broader perception of a massive attack on sacred notions of truth that are sacred to the scientific community.”

“The current concerns, and let’s say movement, on the parts of many, many scientists and other citizens — and the movements of the current administration — those really do feel pretty unusual,” added David Kaiser, a historian of science at MIT. “And if they’re not completely brand new under the sun, they do feel like a pretty big swing.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why We March

So the March for Science was my second march this year. The first of course was the Women’s March. Both were unprecedented. The Women’s because it came right after the inauguration and was so massive in size. The Science March was well scientists marching. Who would have thought that would happen.

The reason of course is the threat that people see in Trump and the people who surround him and the GOP in general. The GOP has been anti-women (that might be a little extreme but I think in many cases it is true) for a long time. Trump was just the logical conclusion of the way women are viewed in the GOP. Also the past few years the GOP has adopted the notion that stupid is fine. That being smart is some sort of liberal conspiracy. Climate change is the perfect example of it. The deniers of that are very troubling because they deny the facts and research done on it. But that denial has spread to essentially the challenge of any facts that are not liked. Thus the fake news label that Trump loves to throw around.

I think the marches have been very successful. The number of people that have turned out has been huge and the number of marches have been incredible. Not just in this country but all over the world. And both marches were started from an idea put forth on the internet. Something mentioned in an off handed way and then it exploded from there.

People march to have their voices heard. Trump tapped into that with a segment of voters. It got him into the presidency. But there was a reaction to his victory. And those people are marching to raise concerns on issues that they think Trump and the Republicans will ignore if not cause outright damage to.

After the Women's March I sat down near Gallery Place to rest my tired feet. I sat down on the steps to the Portrait Gallery. A guy came by and said hey you lost get over it. He said it many times to many people. One of the marchers finally responded by saying did you get over it when Obama won.

That silenced the Trump guy pretty quickly. The marcher added that everyone has a right to express their opinion. An election doesn't end that.

So we don't plan to get over it. We have the right to march and that's what we are going to do. And there will be plenty more marches to come in part because we have that right.

That is the fundamental reason why we march. The reason anyone marches. It's the reason it is in the first amendment to the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
 And everyone has the right to exercise it everyone.

Bill Nye at the March for Science

I really enjoyed this story in the Post on Bill Nye and his involvement in the March for Science:
Bill Nye the science guy was at the march. He spoke and marched right at the front. Here's a little from an article in the Post about him

“When you become scientifically literate, I claim, you become an environmentalist,” he said. “Somewhere along the way, there has developed this idea that if you believe something hard enough, it’s as true as things discovered through the process of science. And I will say that’s objectively wrong.”

It’s the day of the march, and he’s in a white van driving him and the other event leaders to the starting point, and the streets are lined with signs that say “Science, not Silence” and “Facts Matter,” and maybe he’s starting to get it a little bit more.

“Look! This is so, so freaking cool,” he says, pointing out the window.

“Look at all the people,” he says when he steps outside, and again when he takes his place behind the big “March for Science” banner and starts shuffling down Constitution Avenue beneath a steady rain.
We need more people like Nye to be the public face on this very important issue. Neil deGrasse Tyson is another person who can talk about the important issues on science as well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Everywhere a Sign for the March for Science

More from the Post article
Some people wore lab coats. Some wore pink, knitted “brain” hats. Sam McCoy, 27, who traveled from North Carolina, carried a homemade sign certain to baffle anyone lacking an understanding of P Values and the null hypothesis. But most of the signs were more straightforward:

●“In peer review we trust.”

●“The oceans are rising, and so are we.”

●“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”

As it happens, the National Math Festival is also in Washington — so there’s an unusual number of people in town who can recite pi to more than five digits.

Some signs jabbed the current occupant of the White House:

●“Hey Trump — Think You Can Stifle Science? Ask Galileo How That Worked Out!”

●“Empirical Data Trumps Imperial Alt-Facts.”

Lots of uses of the periodic table.

Here we all are getting ready to march.

More from the March for Science

Over the next few days I'll be posting pictures from the march.

Here's some coverage of the March for Science from the Post:
Thousands of people gathered in the rain Saturday on the soggy grounds of the Washington Monument to turn Earth Day into an homage to science. After four hours of speeches and musical performances, they marched down Constitution Avenue to the foot of Capitol Hill, chanting “Build labs, not walls!” and “Hey, Trump, have you heard, you can’t silence every nerd!”

The March for Science began as a notion batted around online on Reddit after the Women’s March on Washington, which was held Jan. 21, the day after President Trump’s inauguration. The idea snowballed after it was endorsed by numerous mainstream science organizations, which vowed that it would not be a partisan event. It eventually became a global phenomenon, held in more than 600 cities on six continents — and cheered on by scientists on a seventh, Antarctica.

“We are at a critical juncture. Science is under attack,” said Cara Santa Maria, a science communicator who is one of several emcees of the four-hour rally that kicked off at 10 a.m. “The very idea of evidence and logic and reason is being threatened by individuals and interests with the power to do real harm.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Mission of the March for Science

About the mission of the March for Science from their web site:
The March for Science is a celebration of science. It's not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world. Nevertheless, the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?

People who value science have remained silent for far too long in the face of policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world. New policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research and communicate their findings. We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely. Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.

The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue. Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone — without exception. Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions. At its core, science is a tool for seeking answers. It can and should influence policy and guide our long-term decision-making.

The March for Science champions and defends science and scientific integrity, but it is a small step in the process toward encouraging the application of science in policy. We understand that the most effective way to protect science is to encourage the public to value and invest in it.

The best way to ensure science will influence policy is to encourage people to appreciate and engage with science. That can only happen through education, communication, and ties of mutual respect between scientists and their communities — the paths of communication must go both ways. There has too long been a divide between the scientific community and the public. We encourage scientists to reach out to their communities, sharing their research and its impact on people's everyday lives. We encourage them, in turn, to listen to communities and consider their research and future plans from the perspective of the people they serve. We must take science out of the labs and journals and share it with the world.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

March for Science

This is my favorite sign from the march. But there were lots of great ones.

Here are the first of a bunch of pictures from the March for Science. More to come.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Grand Finale of the Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks

I am a huge fan of fireworks. I have to say that these were really well done. They lasted much longer than I expected and finale was really amazing as you can see from the video.

Cherry Blosson Festival Fireworks

Saturday was the Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks. They were spectacular. And for once the weather was nice enough to really enjoy them.

Video will be up in the next day or so.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Great Day for A Ball Game

It was an absolutely great day for a ball game yesterday. The weather was fantastic and the results were just as rewarding. Here are a few posts from the game.

It was Daniel Murphy bobble head day. As you can see there were plenty of those.

Some great music from Justin Trawick and his group.

Also some political disagreement from tenets in the condo across the street from the park.