Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Science benefits our health and makes the work better

I just Marched for Science. The shared enthusiasm not only invigorated me, but it reminded me — a trained scientist and ardent supporter of science — of what an amazing role science plays in our lives.
Science guides the farmer as he or she decides when to plant and when to harvest (NOAA weather reports); science unlocks for the rancher a means for optimizing his or her breeding program (genetic studies).
Science provides entertainment — how would we survive without television, electric lights or Netflix? In fact, we might not survive if not for immunizations, antibiotics and clean water.
Science is not only purposeful, it drives the economy. Consider the hundreds, if not thousands, of Montanans employed in Billings’ medical hub. Closer to home, science provides a livelihood for hundreds of our friends and neighbors. If not for the invention of cars and the subsequent call for catalytic converters (fabricated with platinum and palladium), the Stillwater Mining Company might not even exist.
Science has brought the bald eagle and grizzly bears back from the edge of extinction and science is responsible for linking criminals to crimes (DNA) and for tracing our ancestors (also DNA).
And, despite misconceptions, science can and does co-exist with religion. In fact, many scientists see the wonders of our natural world as testimony to the existence of some greater force.
Science is a passion to satiate curiosity. Science consists of theories that are peer-reviewed and replicated by fellow scientists before gaining traction. Science is based on fact.
Science is not personal or political. Science is. It encompasses our lives, this earth and the universe as we know it. Take a “moment of science” to celebrate the amazing knowledge we’ve gained and to support research that will unlock new discoveries — a cure for Alzheimer’s disease? A car that runs on air? — in our future.
Science benefits our health, uplifts our spirits and makes our world better. And besides, it’s just plain interesting.

Linda Halstead-Acharya