Unfortunately we were unable to attend any of the Marches for Science last Saturday. There are only so many weekends in our lives and sometimes the family insists we get together.
Like many of our generation we fancy ourselves armchair scientists. My introduction to the wonders of science was having the local community pools shut down for fear that they were one of the possible places to be stricken with polio. Little struck fear into the hearts of parents like the word polio did in the late 40s and early 50s.
Then in 1952, Dr. Jonas Salk proved the viability of his inactivated polio virus and the country rejoiced. Somewhere in the next year or so, I and several million like me got a series of three shots. That stick in the arm was my introduction to science. Now we could swim and drink from water fountains and share a bottle of pop with a friend.
Science marched forward from there both for good and for bad. As we have explored more and more deeply into space, so has science come up with more and more efficient ways for man to kill his fellow man.
We look at the bright side of science, however. We still believe that there is enough time for us to save our species and others from the cataclysmic climate changes coming. Sadly our current batch of leaders seem much more concerned about making a buck than worrying about humanity and life in general.
So the huge turnout around the country was heartening. It at least helps to focus attention on the problem. I hope there will be many more Marches For Science. This should happen every couple of months.
Humor is one of the best ways to highlight problems. In that vein, I direct you to this website for a slideshow of some of the more humorous signs from last Saturday.
And here are a few more for good measure. Scientists do have a very understated sense of humor: