Feb 2, 2017
As scientists and people who value science we are too often
reluctant to brave the maelstrom of politics. It drains us of
energy and time, resources that are in everlastingly short supply.
We value our reputations as open-minded and neutral arbiters for
evidence, so taking sides on political issues just doesn't feel
But why does the current situation make us so angry and
It distresses us because we are passionate about science!
As scientists and scientific thinkers we understand that we must
be dispassionate about the data. However, that requisite detachment
is limited only to the evidence. Science itself, the vocation, the
way of thinking, the calling, permeates our lives and our
existence. If there ever was anything worthy of fighting for it is
science and reason.
Here's our chance to get out of the lab and on to the
On Earth Day, 22 April will be the March For Science. Mark you
calendars and make your reservations early.
It's game on!
The main march will be held in Washington, D.C., but satellite
demonstrations will take place worldwide. These protests give us an
opportunity to collectively voice our opposition to the silencing
of scientists, funding freezes, and other White House attempts
to censor climate science. The demonstrations also represent a
broader call for politicians to make decisions based on evidence,
rather than ideology or corporate agendas.
From the March for Science website:
The March for Science is a
celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and
safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have
caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and
immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns
are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the
world. The politicization of science, which has given policymakers
permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and
urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific
research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be
APRIL 22, 2017, WE WALK OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE
We are scientists and science
enthusiasts. We come from all races, all religions, all gender
identities, all sexual orientations, all socioeconomic backgrounds,
all political perspectives, and all nationalities. Our diversity is
our greatest strength: a wealth of opinions, perspectives, and
ideas is critical for the scientific process. What unites us is a
love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We all recognize that
science is everywhere and affects everyone.
Science is often an arduous
process, but it is also thrilling. A universal human curiosity and
dogged persistence is the greatest hope for the future. This
movement cannot and will not end with a march. Our plans for policy
change and community outreach will start with marches worldwide and
a teach-in at the National Mall, but it is imperative that we
continue to celebrate and defend science at all levels - from local
schools to federal agencies - throughout the world.
ScienceDebate.org is the fiscal sponsor of The Science March.
Science needs your support. Any donation would help.
What The Hell Was That?
Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit down, and play the
What The Hell Was That Game!
Blue Streak Science News Roundup
These are summaries of our discussions on the podcast. For the
full conversation please listen to this episode of the Blue Streak
- Folsom Lake, 2015
Before and After: The Rain's Impact on Three California
On more than one occasion I’ve made
reference to the severe drought we’ve been experiencing here in
California. But we’ve
had a little rain this winter, which is our normal rain and snow
season. And by “a
little rain” I mean a lot of rain, and crazy snowfall in the
Current statistical reports on
rainfall and the water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack show
that so far, we’re in the midst of one of the wettest California
rainy seasons on record. All
the precipitation has transformed a state that suffered through
five years of severe drought.
One of the most visible effects:
high levels of the state’s major reservoirs. Ah, but the drought
isn't quite over yet.
Still, what a difference a few
drops of rain make!
International Effort Announced to Save the World's Most Endangered
There’s species of porpoise in Mexico called the vaquita, but sadly
there are less than 60 of them left.
An emergency plan to help save this lovely
little porpoise from extinction in the northern Gulf of California
has been recommended by the International Committee for the
Recovery of the Vaquita.
The plan involves relocating
some of the remaining vaquitas to a temporary sanctuary, while
crucial efforts aimed at eliminating threats from their environment
For more information about this
plan to save this wonderful creature please go to: VaquitaCPR.org.
Proposes Novel Mechanism to Stop Tsunamis In Their
Devastating tsunamis could be halted before hitting coastlines by
firing deep-ocean sound waves at the oncoming mass of water. That’s
according to Dr Usama Kadri, from Cardiff University's School of
He believes that lives could
ultimately be saved by using acoustic-gravity waves (AGW) against
tsunamis that are triggered by earthquakes, landslides and other
violent geological events. AGWs are naturally occurring sounds waves that
move through the deep ocean at the speed of sound and can travel thousands
of meters below the surface.
Is this a plausible idea, or is it sharks with frickin' laser
Rabies Viruses Reveal Wiring In Transparent
Scientists under the leadership of the
University of Bonn have harnessed rabies viruses for assessing the
connectivity of nerve cell transplants: coupled with a green
fluorescent protein, the viruses show where replacement cells
engrafted into mouse brains have connected to the host neural
A clearing procedure which turns
the brain into a 'glass-like state' and light sheet fluorescence
microscopy are used to visualize host-graft connections in a
The approach opens exciting
prospects for predicting and optimizing the ability of neural
transplants to functionally integrate into a host nervous
The results have now been
published in the journal Nature Communications.
Stop! Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these
questions three (plus seventeen), ere the other side he see.
How did Tom and Sophie do? Did they make it to the other side,
or were they cast into the Gorge of Damnation?
Uh, I don't know that!
Shout-outs and Acknowledgments
March for Science!
The science community in the United
States, under threat from a new Presidential Administration whose
prides itself on willful ignorance, is speaking out. The time for
silence is ended.
And now, the March for Science. Upon its inception on 23 January
this idea grew quickly to over 800,000 members of their
Facebook group, and 300,000 followers on Twitter.
This movement emerged as a response to the Trump
administration’s stifling of scientists and the outright hostility
to open scientific inquiry.
The March for Science website states that they are a
“diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the
common good, and for political leaders and policymakers to enact
evidence-based policies in the public interest.”
The date for the march is
not yet set, but are awaiting word. 22 APRIL, 2017!
We'll be sure to inform you on the next episode of this
We encourage you to join us as
we support the many Marches for Science that will be held around
Science on Twitter
March For Science
The Blue Streak Science Podcast comes to you from Washington,
D.C.; San Francisco, California; and Cambridge, England.