The Trump administration has essentially declared war on science. He has approved projects that will be harmful to the environment and made it clear that his priority is money rather than environmental preservation. His nomination for the head of the EPA is a climate change denier, as is most of his cabinet. He has questioned the effectiveness of vaccinations and suggested that they cause autism, which has been disproved by multiple studies. His budget cut plans include gutting the EPA and suspending grants for scientific research.
Under Trump, science is under siege. If you are a supporter of science, or facts in general, this is a pretty unsettling time. You may be wondering what you can do to show your support for science and protect it from the Trump administration.
Here are 5 ways you can help:
1. Put your money where your mouth is and donate to organizations that fund scientific research
There are some nonprofit organizations and grant programs that take donations to help fund scientific research and development. The National Resources Defense Council’s mission is to protect the Earth’s resources. They’re dedicated to research about climate change, how the environment impacts health, and how our food can be produced in a less harmful way. Check out their website to donate.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is another awesome organization dedicated to promoting scientific research. The organization is dedicated to bringing scientists together to collaborate and promote discovery. Become a member on their website to support their cause.
To find more organizations that support science check out sites like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch, which both track how charities spend their donations and how transparent they are with their money and mission.
2. Support local scientists and science endeavors
You may not even know that there are scientists in your community, but if you live near a museum or a college then there definitely are! Museums and colleges are hotbeds of scientific research and they often struggle for funding. Become a member of a museum near you and go as often as possible. Share about their traveling exhibits on your social media. Encourage your friends and family to go as well. If your local college’s science department is having a fundraiser, go buy whatever they’re selling. Donate to your alma mater and make sure that some of those funds get earmarked for the science department. If your local college or alma mater publishes a study, share it on social media.
3. Encourage young scientists, especially girls
Careers in science begin way before college. Those who want to go in to the sciences often decide to do so when they are young, mostly because careers in science require an incredible amount of dedication. Encourage the young people in your life to explore the sciences. Instead of a video game get them a chemistry set. Explore the natural world with them and encourage them to ask questions about how things work. Girls especially need this encouragement to explore science as they are more likely to be pushed toward language and arts than math and science. Encouraging young people to pursue science ensures that science will continue to thrive in the future.
4. Read the article and fact check before you share
A recent study found that 60% of people will share an article without even reading it, based on the title alone. This has led to the dissemination of a lot of misleading and even false information, leading to the devaluation of science and the dilution of facts. When we as a society start to distrust science, science as a whole is in danger. So before you share that article, make sure you’re sharing information that has been properly sourced and reported.
5. Call your representatives and ask them to reject Trump’s Cabinet nominees
Two key nominees that pose a huge threat to science are Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head the EPA, and Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for the Department of Education. Scott Pruitt is a known climate change denier and has supported multiple lawsuits to block EPA regulations that would protect the environment. He has sworn to completely change the way the EPA works… and not in good ways.
Betsy DeVos is an outspoken opponent of the public education system. She has never attended a public school, including college, and is completely ignorant of the processes involved in educating the country’s children. She is an advocate of private schools, which are not held to the same standards as public schools under federal regulation. In her education system, science education would not be regulated. Private religious schools would be allowed to teach creationism instead of evolution. Science and facts would not be a priority in DeVos’ education system.
Call your representatives and even representatives from other states that are on the fence and let them know that science is important by asking them to reject these nominations.
The future of science is uncertain right now, but we are not helpless. There’s plenty we can do to let the administration know that science is crucial to the future of the country. Take some action today and support science!