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Ursuline celebrates science in April 22 march

April 13, 2017

By Dr. Jenise Snyder

Why celebrate science? The real question is why shouldn’t we celebrate science?  Look around you. You can’t escape the achievements and creature comforts science has brought you. Your phone, your computer, your car – we have all of these tools that are part of most of our everyday lives thanks to science.

What about medicine? It is hard to think that there was a time when vaccines to protect us against debilitating diseases such as small pox and polio did not exist. It was the production of the polio vaccine in the 1950s and ’60s that has helped us get extremely close to its worldwide elimination. It is shocking, but there was a time when antibiotics to help cure infections didn’t exist. Penicillin was discovered by accident in the late 1920s. Close to two decades later, once scientists discovered how to purify and produce the antibiotic, it saved countless wounded soldiers during World War II. It continues to help us in the form of ampicillin, methicillin and others.

What about nature? Science affords us the ability to use our natural resources efficiently, so that they will be available for our children. We can learn from our past mistakes and correct course. We can solve problems we have created. From the 1950s to the ’70s, we learned that our application of DDT was causing birds to lay very thin shelled eggs, which would collapse from the weight of nesting parents. The bald eagle was one of the bird species affected by this. Scientific research was used to inform policy makers. In 1972, DDT was banned in the United States. And it was here in Cleveland, that the Cleveland Museum of Natural History developed the first bald eagle captive breeding program to help replenish nature’s dwindling supply.

But lately science has been getting dealt a very bad hand. In President Trump’s proposed federal budget, funding to support scientific research would be dramatically cut. Scientists employed by our government have been stifled and given a gag order.

Scientific findings that the vast majority of scientists agree are valid have been painted as lies. Scientists have been given the label as deceivers, frauds and even “talentless low-lives."  This is no way to move our society forward! We need to support the people and institutions who help solve our problems and make this our world a better place.
To support and celebrate science for all our past, current, and future achievements, on Earth Day April 22, I will be proudly marching around Cleveland’s Public Square in a march co-sponsored by Ursuline College.  Please join the March for Science Cleveland, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., as we display our commitment to science, curiosity, and progress. You do not have to be a scientist to march. And you do not have to be part of a particular political party to march. All you need to be is interested in celebrating science. Please contact me at jsnyder@ursuline.edu to carpool and be a part of the Ursuline College team. I hope to see you there!

Jenise Snyder, Ph.D., shown above at the at the National Ice Core Laboratory, is an assistant professor of Biology at Ursuline College. She enjoys mucking around the wetlands and lakes in Ohio, Belize and Guatemala, investigating how human-derived nutrients impact plants, soils, and human health.

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