Reprinted with permission from
I hope you can make some time this coming Saturday 22nd April to get to your local March for Science venue, wave a sign and listen to some talks.
Check out the Australian website for details https://marchforscienceaustralia.org/ and RSVP to help the organisers understand how many will be attending.
It would be great to see as many scientists and members of the science-supporting public turn up to support the ongoing need for science in our everyday lives.
As the local Australian supporters page details, the March for Science aims to celebrate that scientific knowledge delivers...
- community knowledge and understanding about the world(s) around us
- information about new disocveries that is clearly communicated for eveyone to understand
- facts to underpin public policies that guide our way of life
- results that are deserving of ongoing long-term funding
I'm not involved in the march organisation but I hope to be at my local Brisbane march - along with my science loving family.
After cleaning our teeth with toothpaste and fluoridated water - both of which have scientific data to prove their effectiveness - we'll probably drive there in a car fabricated, assembled, painted, tested, fuelled and imbued with safety devices that have all resulted from scientific advances.
We'll drive to the city on roads and bridges designed and made thanks to scientific achievements. We'll be singing along to the Moana soundtrack - a digital download copied onto a CD from a movie we saw - every step of which was made possible thanks to a slew of scientific innovations and with storytelling bolstered by scientifically accurate research.
We'll be wearing clothes made possible by scientific advances in fabric design, machining and colouring, assembled by people using machines that were produced from numerous individual scientific breakthroughs. We'll have applied sunscreen of a formulation that has been proven to reduce skin burning while we stand in Queensland's high ultraviolet midday sun. Sunburn has been shown through medical research (science!) to increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. One of my son's will be actively and safely mounting an immune response to his recent HPV vaccine - a development that will reduce his risk of some cancers, and reduce the risk of him passing along the virus that may cause such cancer in others.
I'll also be wearing a machined cap to protect my head from burning. It will be embroidered with a computer-designed rhinovirus logo. Thank goodness for a vast array of scientific advances that that lead to computers, communication networks, financial transaction systems, broadband cabling and the internet via which I write this very blog (while consuming too much chocolate - which medical science tells me is overly laden with sugar and fat so as to be bad for me if I consume it regularly while continually sitting on this chair).
There's a good chance I'll have taken some pain relief for a headache caused by a (probably rhino-)virus-induced common cold. The drug and the knowledge of the virus were all generated by medical doctors, chemists, physiologists, virologists, epidemiologists and other researchers generating and using science in a whole range of ways over decades.
Later we'll grab some lunch from a vendor that has made and stored the food in ways that mean we won't end up with food poisoning later (we hope) - because of lessons learned about microbes and food storage through the application of the scientific method and ongoing scientific checks.
And that's just a sampling of the science that will permeate our lives during this one day.
Science is everywhere and we are wholly dependant upon it in our big city and suburban lifestyles. Science makes us safe. It allows us to work and to travel and to communicate (reading this on a mobile device much?) more effectively.
Science permeates our life in ways we already know and in ways we have yet to understand. Imagine what continuing the support for science will lead to in the near and distant future.
We will March for Science because science has mostly made our lives better.