“The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.” ~Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
Stand with us on Earth Day, April 22, when we march in concert with thousands of people in Washington, DC, and hundreds of cities around the world to show we value science.
Science is first of all a method. It begins with the simplest yet most profound act we humans can make: asking a question. It requires the best of our intellect to follow the lead those questions lay out on the map. It requires our courage when that path reveals truths we would prefer not to face. It requires our minds to stretch beyond their native intuitions; to imagine a petite three-dimensional sphere whirling through space when the surface beneath our feet is flat and big enough to hold billions of our kind; to conceive of scales outside the reckoning of our senses, from the tininess of our sun in a gargantuan universe to the immensities of space inside an atom too small too see without expensive, highly developed technology.
Science expands our senses, our curiosity. We live every day in a world that yesterday was impossible magic.
Yet, when lies become mainstream public currency, when borders close to the free sharing of research, when people are told to stop asking questions or to avert their eyes from evidence, the pursuit of science itself becomes an endangered species.
Yes, scientists themselves are human. They are people of their day and culture. Any endeavor that requires humans to carry it out will produce failures and mistakes, even horrific ones. Yet the solution is not to slam the door, shut down controversy, or retreat from the challenge. What better remedy than the methods of science: to address the errors by asking better questions, seeking more knowledge, engaging more minds in order to bring a broader variety of backgrounds and perspectives into the quest?