Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The March for Science: my goals

I just filled out a survey about the March for Science. I said that my goals for the march were:
     1. Fostering awareness among politicians and policy people that science has strong public support.
     2. Lifelong/long-term goal: Making it as socially unacceptable in the US to say 'I hate science' as it is to say 'I hate sports.'
     3. Showing that everyone who loves truth and respects the achievements of the human mind, should be proud to march for science.
     4. Reminding ourselves that SCIENCE HAS NO PARTY.
     5. Getting people to realize that if they like their [air, water, cell phones, cars, bikes, running shoes, garden, roads, your-noun-here], they like science.

Asked how effective I thought the March would be in the long-term for reaching those goals, I said 'slightly effective' for 1, 2 and 3, and 'moderately effective' for 4 and 5. I suppose my optimism grew as I focused more on 'long-term.' And maybe I thought, with cock-eyed optimism, that item 2 might get more attention by reason of my saying it in this survey.

I had mentioned item 5 to friendsincluding one who was among the early organizers of the march. Alas, it did not get on a mass-produced t-shirt. But at least during the march I saw other people with signs with the same basic idea. Maybe in the coming months it will get more traction.
Hey! 'Getting traction' is a science-based metaphor. Name three other science-based figures of speech in the Comments section below, ones that are not already named by other commenters, and win ... recognition on this blog, if not something even better.

Another survey question was about concerns about the march. Among the answers I checked was 'lack of diversity.' And it's probably not the lack you were thinking of. What struck me was that there were very few Asians. Yet the proportion of East Asians and South Asians who are in science or have family and friends in science is far greater than it is in the US population as a whole. I am aware that when I write "Asians," I am lumping South Asians and East Asians together, ignoring their vast differences in culture, and also ignoring West and North Asians because, based on appearances alone (not interviews or other information), they are part of the great mass of White.

The survey had other interesting questions, and I had other interesting answers, perhaps, but I'll stop now and wait to hear your favorite science-based similes and metaphors. And by the way 'greased lightning' and the like don't count. Please explain so I don't have to.

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